The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Friday announced three more European locations for events in 2015, including two new markets, Poland and Scotland.
Speaking at a press conference in Stockholm, three UFC athletes, each representing their home country where the events are set to take place, confirmed that the UFC would this year host events in Poland and Scotland, as well as a return to Germany.
The announcement of Poland helped to shed some light on the recent signing of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, who will headline the UFC’s first Polish card in a five-round heavyweight match-up with Gabriel Gonzaga.
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Co-headlining at Kraków Arena on April 11 is Jan Blachowicz, an extremely popular Polish fighter, who will meet Jimi Manuwa in a light heavyweight clash.
“This means a great deal to me,” said Blachowicz. “UFC in Poland is growing so quickly and Polish fans have been traveling all over the world to watch MMA events for a long time now. For us to have a UFC event in our home country is truly amazing.”
The UFC’s return to Germany will come at the O2 World in Berlin on June 20. The news comes just a few weeks after the annulment of a broadcast ban on UFC events, which had been put into place by the BLM, meaning UFC events can now be broadcasted on German television without restriction.
“I was overwhelmed by the support of the German public last year,” said German fighter Nick Hein, who plans to be fighting on the Berlin card. “The journey that the sport of MMA has taken in my home country is remarkable and the fan base just keeps on growing. To know that the UFC will be back in Berlin this year is just fantastic and I would love, more than anything, to have the opportunity to fight in my home country once again.”
The final announcement was the UFC finally making debuting in the Scottish market, which will take place on July 18 at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
“People at home have been asking the UFC to come to Scotland for so long now, so I just know this will be a sellout,” said Scottish fighter Joanne Calderwood. “It would be a dream come true for me to fight in Glasgow for the UFC. The opportunity to step inside the Octagon in front of a home crowd would be something I’d never forget.”
The three added locations bring the UFC’s European total to four events for 2015, including this weekend’s UFC on FOX 14 in Stockholm, but David Allen, Senior Vice President and General Manager for UFC in EMEA, indicated that they’re not done yet.
While the UFC is still in talks over several venues and locations, Allen said that the hope is to increase the UFC’s European presence to a total of six to eight events by year’s end.