Over the past few years the UFC has slowly began to extend it’s reach in Europe. UFC events in the UK have now become a regular addition to their yearly fight calender while the likes of Ireland and Germany have also played host to the promotion’s shows.
One criticism from fans however has been the lack of major fights headlining these shows, with for example the likes of Bisping Vs Akiyama and Marquardt Vs Okami this year being seen as inferior to the big name stars who tend to headline US and Canadian events.
There is a legitimate reason for that. The timing of European broadcasts makes PPV events difficult to sell in the UFC and so they generally resort to airing them on Spike TV via tape delay in it’s customary evening slot. The result of that is that they then become hesitant to put their biggest fights / stars on free TV.
A balance has to be struck to keep fans happy however, and it looks as if the UFC are seriously considering holding a title fight in Europe in 2011 with one of the new weight classes (either bantamweight or featherweight) which will be added in the New Year after the merger with the WEC most likely to be targeted.
“I think that’s a real possibility,” the UK UFC president Marshall Zelaznik tells ESPN.co.uk. “I think any belt is a possibility, but with those two weight classes you can imagine there are going to be more and more fighters from this part of the world coming through in those weight classes.”
“I would expect one of those belts to be contested in the UK or Europe in the next year.”
So, no indication yet of which country would host such a fight, though it’s worth noting that Fighters Only reported today that Liverpool, England is being targeted for an event in May of next year, and that would seem as good a place as any to hold it.