UFC plans Australia event for February
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is planning an event for Feb. 21 at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia, MMAWeekly.com has learned from a source within the UFC.
The date, landing on a Sunday, is an unorthodox move for the promotion. The UFC's sister promotion, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), often holds events on Sunday to accommodate the schedule of television partner Versus.
The Sydney Morning Herald first reported the news Sunday citing the UFC's U.K. president, Marshall Zelaznik.
Yoshihiro Akiyama may headline the event against Wanderlei Silva, the Japanese star said during a recent UFC "Undisputed" video game press conference in Japan, according to a report on Sherdog.com. Akiyama, however, said he'd prefer the fight to happen at UFC 110, scheduled for Feb. 6 in Las Vegas.
The Acer Arena played host to the 2000 Sydney Games and is the largest indoor arena in the country, holding up to 21,000 fans.
Zelaznik said negotiations were underway with Australian sports channel and pay-per-view carrier Foxtel to carry the event. The 15-hour time difference between Sydney and the U.S. means a late night for fans watching in the U.S., if it is available live stateside.
Currently, the UFC carries one native Australian on its roster, George Sotiropolous, who is scheduled to fight Jason Dent at UFC 106 on Nov. 21.