Following Jon Jones latest title defense last night at UFC 172, UFC President Dana White confirmed that a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson would be next for the champion, and then teased the possibility of it taking place in a stadium in Sweden on pay-per-view.
“It’s a big one, man,” White said of the rematch during a post-fight scrum. “Me and Lorenzo [Fertitta] were talking about it tonight. It’s a big one. It has the potential to be huge and the gate on this thing’s going to be huge, too, depending on where we do it. Big fight. It is a big, massive fight.”
When he says “Depending on where we do it,” he’s talking about doing it in Gustafsson’s own backyard – Sweden.
“If we do it in Europe, this thing could do fifty, sixty-thousand seats or more,” white said.
Gustafsson certainly enjoys a lot of support in his native Sweden where he’s something of a national hero, but hosting one of the UFC’s biggest title fights in recent memory there brings with it complications regarding the time zone difference.
However, North American fans need not panic as White says their current thinking is that they would actually host the event in the wee hours of the morning in Sweden in order for the PPV to broadcast at a normal time back in the U.S.
“We would do it at the same time [as usual],” White explained. “At that time back [in Sweden], it’s light 24 hours a day or dark for an hour or something like that, so it would go at four o’clock in the morning [local time].”
You have to wonder whether that ultra-late starting time might end up being a turn-off for some Swedish fans which is a concern when you’re hoping to fill tens of thousands of seats, but if they could pull it off the double-whammy of a huge gate combined with a must-see PPV back home could prove to be a huge money-spinner for the UFC.
However, White does say that this is still all a work-in-progress at this stage and that Las Vegas is also under consideration to host the event.
Either way, the current hope is that this eagerly awaited second fight between the two light-heavyweight stars will take place later this year.