The UFC have taken the wraps of the destinations for their EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) series of events in 2014 with a total of eight shows now planned.
As we already know, the series kicks off tomorrow night in London, England with ‘UFC Fight Night 37’ which features Alexander Gustafsson Vs Jimi Manuwa in the main event.
Next up is another previously announced ‘Fight Night’ show in Dubai on April 11th which is headlined by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Vs Roy Nelson.
Next up the promotion makes a third trip to Germany on May 31st, the first of two events to be held on the same day (the other being in Brazil).
Irish fans can rejoice that at long last the UFC will be returning to their shores for a ‘Fight Night’ event in Dublin on July 19th and the smart money would be on local hero Conor McGregor fighting on that card.
Then comes another couple of events that were announced last week that’ll see the UFC head back to Macau for the second time this year on August 23rd and then on to Saitama, Japan on September 20th.
Back to freshly announced events, the UFC has revealed it will return to Stockholm, Sweden on October 4th.
Finally, Turkey will get it’s first chance to experience the UFC when the Octagon arrives in Istanbul on November 22nd.
For Europe in particular, this is by far the most UFC action ever seen in the region in one calendar year and the hope is that the EMEA series will help kickstart major growth in the region.
The fact that the majority of these shows will air during primetime hours in Europe, instead of the unsociable twilight hours that they usually have to contend with for events from other parts of the world like the U.S, Canada and Brazil, should go a long way to help reel in casual viewers and boost ratings for these shows in their own markets.
If all goes well it should also help secure better TV deals of the sport in these markets, with the fruits of that already having been seen in the UK where Channel 5, one the leading networks in the region, having already signed up to air six of these EMEA events live, including tomorrow night’s show in London, live.
UFC EMEA Events In 2014:
- London, England – March 8th
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – April 11th
- Berlin, Germany – May 31st
- Dublin, Ireland – July 19th
- Macau – August 23rd
- Saitama, Japan – September 20th
- Stockholm, Sweden – October 4th
- Istanbul, Turkey – November 22nd