If the report is accurate (and it very likely is), the Ultimate Fighting Championship is returning to England in 2011, something many British UFC fans were worried would never materialize. The UK Telegraph's Gareth Davies has the report:
It’s official. There will be a UFC event in the UK in 2011, and it will be in Birmingham on Nov 5 at the LG Arena. It will not be a Fight Night, but will be UFC 138.
UFC fans can now rejoice after it appeared that, due to programming and venue bookings, there might be a barren year for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s growing legion of fans on British shores this year.
Marshall Zelaznik, UFC UK vice-president, told The Telegraph yesterday: "I’m very happy to announce UFC 138 will be bringing fireworks to Birmingham on November 5. The last time the UFC was in the second city was UFC 89 in October 2008, and we are very happy to be going back there this bonfire night."
As a natural consequence of the pay-per-view model, many of the UFC's top stars do not compete in overseas cards, although plenty of exceptions exist. Overseas shows make it more difficult to generate sufficient interest among the UFC's pay-per-view purchasing base. It is possible (though there is no present evidence or information this is the case) this card will be aired on Spike TV, as many previous UK-cards have done.
One wonders how complications with Spike TV in contract negotiations will impact the UFC's ability/desire to air this event on free cable TV.
More on this as the fight card develops.