With UFC 181 likely no longer taking place in Montreal this December as originally planned, the card appears to have a new potential home already lined up.
A source with knowledge of the event told MMAjunkie that the UFC has requested a Dec. 6 date at Mandalay Bay Events Center, and that the Las Vegas property is holding that date for the promotion. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the potential venue booking.
UFC officials declined comment on UFC 181's location, but promotion executive Tom Wright this past weekend told MMAjunkie announcements are expected soon on that event, as well as the UFC 178 pay-per-view in September, which has been targeted for Toronto – but isn’t yet a sure thing.
The UFC in January announced a slew of events for Canada, including the Montreal date on Dec. 6 and Toronto on Sept. 27. But following UFC Fight Night 43 this past weekend in New Zealand, Wright told MMAjunkie the two events in Canada’s two biggest cities weren’t yet set – and that Montreal, in particular, was likely to move to March 2015.
No headliner has been announced for the UFC 181 card, but the timing of the event, if it were to move to Las Vegas, could potentially play host to the women’s strawweight final – and the division’s inaugural title fight – of Season 20 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which is expected to air starting Sept. 10 on FOX Sports 1. The UFC in 2013 held the TUF 18 Finale at Mandalay Bay on Nov. 30.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission doesn’t currently show a Dec. 6 date on its public calendar with a UFC date request. But the official event page at UFC.com for UFC 181 currently shows Las Vegas as the host city. Mandalay Bay Events Center’s down-the-Strip neighbor, MGM Grand Garden Arena, has a concert already booked for Dec. 6.
For more on UFC 181, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.