UFC card event at captivating Co-op Live Arena


Co-op Live Arena will host UFC Image: Co-op Live

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will return to the United Kingdom (UK) this year – but they won’t be touching down in London. The UFC 304 will take place at the brand-spanking-new Co-op Live Arena in Manchester on July 27th.

‘THE SUN’ stated that for the first time in the best part of a decade, the mixed martial arts’ (MMA) top organization will host a card outside of the English capital.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is owned and operated by the TKO Group Holdings, a majority-owned subsidiary of the Endeavor Group Holdings. It is the largest MMA promotion in the world as of 2023.

New York (US)-based the TKO Group Holdings, Inc., is a premium sports and entertainment company that comprises UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization and the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment.

Beverly Hills (US)-based the Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (EDR) is a global sports and entertainment company that owns and operates properties, produces and distributes content and manages the live events and experiences. Endeavor also represents sports, entertainment and fashion talent.

The mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport based on striking, grappling and ground fighting, incorporating techniques from various combat sports from around the world.

The 23,500-capacity Co-op Live is an indoor arena in Manchester, England (UK) sited in the Etihad Campus next to the 53,400-capacity City of Manchester Stadium. Originally due to open on April 23rd, 2024, it is planned to have the largest maximum capacity (as seats plus standing spaces) of any indoor arena in the United Kingdom; greater than the existing 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, which is less than two miles (3.2 km) away. As of 2022, the estimated cost of the scheme is £365 million.

‘THE SUN’ further stated that the MMA leader will be returning with a second pay-per-view event in as many years.

Exulted Dana White, UFC President and head honcho, “I’m so excited to get back to Manchester. And no better time than this Summer. We have two champions from the United Kingdom and the fans have been dying for a UFC pay-per-view (PPV) event. So, here we come to the largest indoor arena in the United Kingdom. See you soon, England!”

The welterweight and interim heavyweight champions Leon Edwards (English professional mixed martial artist) and Tom Aspinall (English mixed martial artist) are expected to feature in the main and co-main events.

Edwards, Britain’s second UFC champion, is expected to defend his title in a rematch against the surging welterweight mainstay Belal Muhammad (American mixed martial artist).

Aspinall, meanwhile, is expected to defend his interim strap in a rematch with Curtis Blaydes (American mixed martial artist).

The UFC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dana White teased the duo being on the card late last month – “I have an English heavyweight champion [Tom Aspinall] and lots of other European stars. There are two champions now out of England, so we have these teams that build all their different pieces to the puzzle. Then we come together with me, and then I start trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. I have got great fights lined up for the United Kingdom fans, and I’m excited to get back there.”

The Liverpudlian (a native of Liverpool) duo Molly McCann (English mixed martial artist) and Paddy Pimblett (English mixed martial artist) will likely also feature on the main card.

The UFC newbie Michael ‘Venom’ Page (English mixed martial artist), who bamboozled Kevin Holland (American mixed martial artist) in his octagon debut last month, is also in contention to make an appearance.

The UFC’s visit to Manchester marks their first venture out of London since their trip to Glasgow in 2017.

Manchester, however, is no stranger to holding the UFC events having staged cards at the 21,000-capacity MEN Arena.

The UFC 204, which took place in October 2016, was the last event the City hosted and saw Michael Bisping (British former mixed martial artist) register his sole defense of the middleweight title in a rematch with his longtime rival Dan Henderson (American retired mixed martial artist).

The card kicked off at 11 pm in order for the promotion’s American audience to be able to purchase the pay-per-view, a start time the UFC have once again decided to implement.

So, the United Kingdom MMA fans in attendance and watching back at home will be in for a super-late night as the main card will get underway at 3 am.

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