Abdul MohamedThe UFC will return to Newcastle, England, which played host to UFC 80 earlier this month, for an event in 2009.

Marshall Zelanik, the president of the UFC’s U.K. division, confirmed the return trip while speaking to Adam Steel of the The Evening Gazette.

UFC 80 took place Jan. 19 at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena. B.J. Penn defeated Joe Stevenson in the night’s main event to claim the UFC’s vacant lightweight title, and Fabricio Werdum defeated Gabriel Gonzaga with a second-round TKO to move up the heavyweight rankings. Despite a somewhat lackluster undercard, the event turned out to be a fairly solid hit. Only two fights went to a decision, and eight of the night’s nine fights aired on the pay-per-view broadcast.

The event also broke the venue’s box-office record. Without an athletic commission overseeing the event, the official numbers aren’t known. However, the UFC claims a paid attendance of 8,412 for a live gate of approximately $1.25 million.

When the organization does return in 2009, Zelanik specifically mentioned one area fighter who may be on the card: Cage Rage lightweight Abdul Mohamed (15-5-2).

It’s unusual for the UFC to comment on fighters signed to other organizations, but Zelanik left open the door when asked about the Cage Rage champion.

“You never know what the status of some contracts are, so you never want to interfere with anyone’s contract,”  Zelanik told The Evening Gazette. “We get a lot of interest from managers who lead us on to their fighters. I usually turn that over to our matchmaker Joe Silva and he evaluates them, and he is signing a lot of good fighters now from Europe and the UK.”

UFC President Dana White has publicly stated that the organization is losing “millions of dollars” as it attempts to penetrate the European market. However, in addition to the return trip to Newcastle, White has said that the UFC will hold shows this year in Croatia, Scotland and Dublin, Ireland. Additionally, the UFC is expected to return to London’s 02 Arena for a UFC 85 event on June 14.

(Touch of gloves: FightOpinion.com) 

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Rizin FF exec: Fedor Emelianenko won't fight in April, return expected later in year

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

After original plans had Fedor Emelianenko returning to the Rizin Fighting Federation ring in April, it appears “The Last Emperor” now won’t see action until later in the year.Filed under: News read news >>

Ross Pearson wants consistency, a winning streak and a UFC return to Newcastle

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

BOSTON – For about three years now, Ross Pearson’s UFC life has been a yo-yo. He’s up, then he’s down. He’s up, then back down. Up … down. He’s currently back up – and this time, he’s hoping to stay read news >>

Fans invited to next month's Bellator Fan Fest with Angle, Ortiz, Couture, more

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

Bellator heads to Houston for next month’s “tentpole event.” Beforehand, fans can get up close and personal with some MMA legends.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

B/R MMA Roundtable: Expectations and Projections for BJ Penn's Latest Return

  • 21 days ago
  • 8 views

BJ Penn is returning to the UFC—again. The details of when and against whom are still up in the air, but “The Prodigy” is coming back with Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in his corner. The former l read news >>

Ex-champ Josh Barnett recalls giving 'kid' Ben Rothwell advice in Hawaii in 2002

  • 12 days ago
  • 19 views

NEWARK, N.J. – In 2002, Josh Barnett was just a month removed from winning the UFC heavyweight title when he found himself giving advice to fellow fighter Ben Rothwell in Hawaii. Fourteen years later read news >>

MMAjunkie’s ‘Knockout of the Month’ for January: A walk-off no-doubter

  • 10 days ago
  • 32 views

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie takes a look at the best knockouts from January.Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC read news >>

WSOF 28 main card adds Parker vs. Yager and Alvarez vs. Ramm

  • 9 days ago
  • 7 views

The main card for WSOF’s trip to California later this month is coming together with the announcement of a pair of welterweight bouts.Filed under: News, WSOF read news >>

MMAjunkie's 'Submission of the Month' for February: Going gaga over a gogo

  • 9 days ago
  • 7 views

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie takes a look at the best submissions from January. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s read news >>

MMAjunkie’s ‘Fight of the Month’ for January: A war for the welterweight title

  • 8 days ago
  • 4 views

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie takes a look at the best fights from January.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Luis Santos back vs. Rafael Silva in ONE Championship 39 main event

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 views

ONE Championship heads back to Indonesia later this month with a main event featuring a recent title challenger who was on the outs with the promotion just three months ago. Filed under: News read news >>