LONDON — UFC govt Dave Shaw spoke to the media on Saturday following the conclusion of UFC Struggle Evening 224.
Within the absence of UFC President Dana White, Shaw, the senior vice chairman of promotion for worldwide content material, mentioned a wide range of subjects on the O2 in London, together with London’s second occasion in 2023, future European plans, the potential for an African debut, marquee free brokers and extra.
You’ll be able to watch Shaw’s total post-event press convention above and see a transcript of a number of the subjects he lined beneath.
Again in London
The journey (combat week) was nice. We really feel like at residence. We now have been there 4 occasions up to now 18 months. For us, after (UFC 286 London) pay-per-view in March, the place it was a really intense week – large week, numerous stuff, large card, Dana (White) and the entire workforce, everybody right here – it was somewhat extra manageable. Nevertheless it felt like residence. We now have been to the O2 so many occasions now. I feel for our crews, for the groups, it was fairly easy. Very nice to be on the town. The town was additionally somewhat quieter.
On the worldwide aptitude of UFC London
I feel we had 12 fighters from the UK and Eire. We had 12 completely different nationalities represented. A lot of the maps we play in London are a real celebration of European MMA with the a lot wanted fights from Brazilians and People.
On plans for UK, Europe in 2024
I feel we’ll proceed with no less than two a yr within the UK. I feel what we’re most likely going to do in 2024 is get out of London for one of many fights. I do not assume we will have two fights a yr in London. However you by no means know what Dana desires to do, relying on who holds the belt and the place individuals are ranked. However I would not be shocked if we – it has been some time since we have been in Glasgow, it has been some time since we have been in Manchester, we wish to return to Dublin. There are a lot of locations we wish to go. We anticipate it to tackle a barely completely different complexion subsequent yr.
On the potential to make UK stadiums
I feel (we’ll) typically follow arenas, until there are particular circumstances. Stadiums are tough. The six we have had, or nevertheless many there are, are powerful. They’re tall. There is not one of the best viewing expertise. Nevertheless it’s okay when the celebs align, you have got the correct fights, the correct time in our calendar, and we will scale back danger by way of climate, we will scale back danger by way of manufacturing prices, there’s the provision of some type of native assist, authorities assist – that may make it somewhat extra manageable. However for us, the candy spot is an enviornment with 15,000 folks.
On Tom Aspinall’s heavyweight title roadmap
He mapped all of it out. If he goes to Paris, he will sit there and watch the (Ciryl) Gane (vs Sergei Pavlovich) combat and face that winner, possibly we’ll see (Jon Jones v Tom Aspinall) carry out in 2024 (in a stadium).
On a possible return to Dublin
(The) brief reply (on a press release from Dublin) is sure. It was identified earlier by one of many key guys on our digital media workforce that subsequent July will mark 10 years since Conor’s combat (McGregor vs. Diego Brandao). (Dublin is at) the highest of the record for certain. We wish to come again sooner or later. I have no idea when. … Actually you’ll be able to see over the previous two years a number of different athletes (from Eire) getting into the combination, and I feel that lends itself properly to a return to Eire sooner or later.
On Bellator free agent Michael Web page within the cage in London
Perhaps (the UFC is all in favour of signing Michael Web page). I do not know. I assume so, since he’s right here. Perhaps he is a free agent, however positively a query for Dana (White). We had been speaking about this the opposite day, an extended record of people that have come (to the UFC) and performed very properly in different promotions which have come. Have a look at (Justin) Gaethje and (Michael) Chandler and some different guys. It could be fairly thrilling so as to add it to the combination, that is for certain.
On the potential of UFC Africa
I really feel like we’re making progress (on a UFC debut in Africa). We now have nothing definitive to report. We have had quite a lot of conversations about what it will take, which nation to go to. In the event you’ve listened to a few of Dana and Lawrence’s (Epstein) interviews over the past 4 or 5 months, it is beginning to choose up somewhat steam. Nothing to report now, however I would be assured to say possibly mid to late subsequent yr, possibly 2025. Nevertheless it’s excessive on the record proper now by way of new territories, new international locations, and continents we have by no means been to.
On the place the UFC’s debut in Africa could possibly be
We do (have African suitors). First, you need to take a look at issues like the place does the infrastructure exist? The place is the Tremendous Bowl venue (measurement)? We’re not going to a giant out of doors rugby pitch. We’re not going to a giant soccer stadium. It is going to be a spot lined: South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, possibly Cameroon. I feel there are a variety of initiatives that we expect are beginning to acquire momentum to construct extra, for example westernized arenas which can be properly run and match for our sport, like a standard hockey or basketball enviornment. That is the primary query we should reply. The second, and it is all as much as Dana, is the place will we wish to go primarily based on the athletes we wish to have on the cardboard? Who is aware of what the following transfer is with (potential South African middleweight title challenger) Dricus (Du Plessis). Perhaps South Africa is sensible. However (Israel Adesanya) campaigned (for Africa). (Kamaru) Usman campaigned. Nothing to report but, however one thing we’re assured will occur throughout the subsequent couple of years.
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