UFC First Sporting Event to Book Las Vegas Sphere
Posted on: November 13, 2023, 04:46h.
Last updated on: November 15, 2023, 03:00h.
UFC has become the Las Vegas Sphere’s first sports booking. Over the weekend, UFC chief Dana White confirmed a September 16 card at the globe-shaped venue.
“Mexican Independence Day, we are booked for The Sphere,” White said at the UFC 295 post-fight press conference in New York. “We are already working on the creative for the show. It’s going to be a massive challenge and I love every minute of it. ”
White shared no specifics. However, using characteristic hyperbole, he promised the event would be “the greatest live combat sports show anybody has ever seen.”
Fitting an Octagon into a Spherical Hole
White said his “great relationship” with Sphere and Madison Square Garden Company chief James Dolan helped put together the deal, though he admitted putting that relationship to the test by “terrorizing him about the Sphere.”
In an interview last month with ESPN’s “Pat McAfee Show,” the UFC chief said that seeing U2’s residency there set his sights on having his company be the first to broadcast live from the $2.3 billion venue.
Over the last few weeks, I have become obsessed with the Sphere,” White said, adding that he had his entire production crew check out “U2:UV Achtung Baby,” just so they can conceive of ideas for visuals to envelop the Octagon as it stands front and center in the world’s largest domed theater.
“I’m telling you right now, this place is incredible,” White told McAfee.
UFC has held the majority of its cards in Las Vegas since its first at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in 2001. Its next, the welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington, will held be at T-Mobile Arena on December 16.
This year, UFC’s Mexican Independence Day event, also at T-Mobile, was headlined by a women’s flyweight championship bout between titleholder Alexa Grasso and former champion Valentina Shevchenko. The fight ended in a split draw, with Grasso retaining her title.
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