ufc-open-workouts.jpg(This story appeared in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

LAS VEGAS – The UFC’s Fourth of July plans include a week-long slate of fan-driven activities that is expected to generate more than $150 million for the city of Las Vegas.

Next week’s schedule, which includes a pool party with UFC octagon girls at luxury hotel Aria, a free concert at downtown’s Fremont Street Experience, meet-and-greet opportunities throughout the city and a two-day UFC Fan Expo, is centered around one of the promotion’s biggest events of the year, “UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman,” on July 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Nevada-based analytics firm Applied Analysis estimates past UFC Fight Week events have generated more than $140 million each in economic impact for Las Vegas, and UFC officials promise an even bigger extravaganza this time.

“We’re sending in twice as many fighters as we’ve ever had for an event,” UFC President Dana White told USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “Anybody who’s been before knows you go in and there’s all kinds of different distributors of MMA products and everything MMA, plus you have so many different fighters there. You get autographs. You get to hang out and meet the fighters. There’s training sessions with guys like B.J. Penn, Chuck Liddell and the Gracie family.

“And what we’ve started to do is bring in other martial arts events, too. There’s a wrestling tournament. There’s a jiu-jitsu tournament. We want to do judo, taekwondo, things like that. Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar are being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. If you’re an MMA fan, the entire week is the greatest thing you could ever experience.”

The UFC held its first fan expo in Las Vegas in 2009. It has since brought the concept to Boston, Toronto and London, but summer in Vegas has become an annual tradition. A UFC official said fans from all over the world, including strong showings from Australia, Brazil, Canada and England, have bought tickets to the expo and UFC 162. Past expos have seen nearly 30 percent of tickets bought by fans outside the U.S.

White says the concept always has been about getting fans as close to fighters as possible.

“When I lived in Boston, I used to go to this thing at Foxwoods where they would bring in all the old fighters,” White said. “I met Jake LaMotta, Leon Spinks. I met Carmen Basilio before he passed away, and he signed a 1957 ‘Sports Illustrated’ for me that he was on the cover. I still have it to this day. At the end of the day, that’s who I am, and that’s who (UFC CEO) Lorenzo Fertitta is. To the core, we are fight fans. We remember what it’s like to be a fan and how fun this stuff is to go to.”

A full UFC Fight Week schedule is available at the UFC’s official website. White promises a memorable affair.

“This thing keeps evolving every year,” he said. “It’s going to get bigger and bigger. It’s already the biggest, baddest fight expo on the planet, but we’re going to make it unbelievable.”

For more on UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC Fight Night 107 ticket pre-sale starts today £40 ($50 US) gets you in the door in London

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

Just £40 ($50 US) will get you in the door for the UFC’s return to London in March. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Video: Watch today's UFC on FOX 23 ceremonial weigh-ins live on MMAjunkie at 7 p.m. ET

  • 26 days ago
  • 19 views

DENVER – UFC on FOX 23 ceremonial fighter weigh-ins take place today, and you can catch a live video stream of the proceedings here on MMAjunkie at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT).Filed under: News, UFC, Video read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 draws announced attendance of 13,233 for live gate north of $1 million in Denver

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

DENVER – Today’s UFC on FOX 23 event drew an announced attendance of 13,233 for a live gate of $1,020,434.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC on FOX 23's Jason Knight plans Caceres KO, new contract and callout of 'The Korean Superboy'

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Don’t accuse Jason Knight for being one of those UFC fighters who doesn’t think ahead each time he enters and exits the octagon.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC Statement on George Sullivan

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

“The UFC organization was formally notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed George Sullivan of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of- read news >>

CM Punk Plans to Fight Again Whether It's in the UFC or Elsewhere | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago
  • 10 views

Despite losing in his UFC debut, CM Punk is determined to fight again whether it's in the UFC or not. read news >>

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET): UFC Fight Night 106's Kevin Lee (in studio)

  • 23 days ago
  • 2 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guest Kevin Lee. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Masvidal vs. Cerrone: Controlling the Inside Line | FIGHTLAND

  • 23 days ago
  • 1 views

Photo by Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko versus Pena was a decent night of scraps with a couple of cracking finishes. Valentina Shevchenko emerged as the next challenger for t read news >>

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie Rankings, Jan. 31: Shevchenko-Pena flip-flop, Masvidal makes big leap

  • 22 days ago
  • 7 views

This past Saturday’s UFC on FOX 23 event in Denver saw some shifts in the balance of a couple divisions. Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, UFC, WSOF read news >>

UFC Statement on Justin Ledet

  • 21 days ago
  • 2 views

The UFC organization was formally notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Justin Ledet of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sam read news >>