UFC London knockout success highlights global growth of MMA that shows no sign of stopping
UFC Fight Night 147 on Saturday 16th March saw the UFC come back to London for the 11th time in the promotions history and the 24th Fight Night in the United Kingdom. The popularity and appetite for MMA in the UK continues to grow and this was highlighted by half of the fighters on the night coming from the United Kingsom. The attendance of 16,602 bought in a gate of $2.4 million and broke the record for a UFC event in London.
It was a highly entertaining evening of action with seven of the twelve fights going the distance. The Co-Main event was between English star Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal. The result was not what the crowd wanted or expected as Masvidal knocked out Darren Till in the second round in spectacular fashion, earning him $100,000 in fight of the night bonuses.
Leon Edwards, from Birmingham, who fought in the Co-Main event against Gunnar Nelson was more fortunate and recorded his ninth win from eleven fights in the UFC. He was less fortunate after the fight, as he got into a fight backstage with Till’s conqueror Masvidal. He sustained a cut eye from the incident and now looks set to have a long feud with Masvidal before an inevitable fight to settle the score.
Wins for Nathanial Wood (pictured), Molly McCann, Mike Grundy and Jack Marshman made sure the home crowd had plenty to cheer about. Dan Ige scooped the other performance of the night for his quick submission of Danny Henry in the first round.
With a record gate this year, the UFC’s commitment to MMA in the United Kingdom looks stronger than ever. The promotion is planning to open its first two performance gyms in the UK in the coming months. This is part of an ambitious programme to build 100 gyms in the next 10 years. The performance of UFC Prague also shows that the growth in the sport’s popularity is not just local to the UK. Russia boasted one of the largest crowds in UFC history when the sport visited Moscow.
These successes show the expansion plans of the UFC look to be continuing and no less than 25 countries have now hosted events in the Octagon. This looks set to grow further with the UFC returning to Russia on April 20th in St. Petersburg shows the growth in popularity and diversity that the sport now boasts globally.
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