The UFC looks like it will return to the United Kingdom sooner rather than later.
As reported by the Independent, UFC is targeting a return to London as early as March 2017 at the O2 Arena. The last time the UFC was there, it was a sold-out card headlined by Michael Bisping and Anderson Silva. Will the UFC look to replicate their success by adding Bisping's first middleweight title defense to the event? At just four months away, the timing actually seems right.
Bisping has spoken openly about the well-documented issue of the middleweight title contenders being booked. This is why Bisping was searching for a quick turnaround fight with Nick Diaz or Georges St-Pierre at #UFC206. However, those fighters have a myriad of problems associated with them and — just as Luke Rockhold's injury frees up Jacare Souza — Bisping announced last night he is injured as well, presumably from Hendo's H-Bombs at #UFC204.
This recent injury news throws a wrench into any plans that Bisping had of a quick, money fight. Whether the UFC decides to give Jacare the title fight, or wait to see if Chris Weidman or Yoel Romero pulls off an exciting finish at #UFC205, #UFCLondon in March looks more and more like an ideal timeline regardless of the opponent.
And the card could be a good one. UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic has already voiced his opinion that he'd prefer to fight around that time as well, and that London would suit him just fine.
“I’m hoping to return in March, you know. Sometime early on in 2017 or maybe early Spring," Miocic said to the Independent. "I hate flying and I hate traveling, but if they want me to fight in the UK then I’d love to the fight in the UK. It’d be awesome, but honestly I’m not picky."
Miocic and Bisping potentially defending their titles in London for the main and co-main event? Sign us up.