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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
David Davies Melbourne's Etihad Stadium.
# Record Breaker
Good news for Irish fans down under as a massive UFC stadium event is confirmed
A new attendance record could be set in November.

AFTER MUCH SPECULATION, it’s been confirmed that the Etihad Stadium will be the venue for the UFC’s November pay-per-view event in Melbourne.

UFC 193, which is set to be headlined by a welterweight title bout between champion Robbie Lawler and challenger Carlos Condit, takes place in the Australian city on 15 November.

The event was confirmed today via the Etihad Stadium on Twitter, which will be particularly exciting news for MMA fans among the substantial Irish community in Melbourne.

Of the thousands of Irish supporters who travelled to Las Vegas last month for Conor McGregor’s interim title fight against Chad Mendes, a significant portion made the trip from Australia.

The Etihad Stadium can hold up to 60,000 spectators for concerts and other such events, which means that UFC 193 could potentially break the organisation’s 55,724 attendance record, which was set in Toronto in April 2011.

No other fights have been officially announced for the event as of yet, but among those rumoured are Mark Hunt versus Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva and Michael Bisping versus Robert Whittaker.

The Etihad Stadium is home to various Melbourne-based teams, including AFL club Essendon and NRL side Melbourne Storm.

The venue, which has a retractable roof and movable seating, has also played host to the Commonwealth Games, the Rugby World Cup, the International Rules series, WWE and — as appears to be the case with every decent-sized stadium these days — One Direction.

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“Around 56,000 fans occupied every seat and standing space for a game of international rugby in 2013 and we’re anticipating a similar crowd,” Etihad Stadium CEO Paul Sergeant told the Sydney Morning Herald, referencing the second Test match between Australia and the Lions two years ago.

A successful stadium event in Melbourne is also likely to increase the UFC’s eagerness to bring an event to Croke Park in 2016, with president Dana White claiming recently that Conor McGregor’s inaugural title defence – should he defeat featherweight champion Jose Aldo in December — is being targeted for GAA headquarters.

UFC 193 will be the organisation’s first ever event in the Australian state of Victoria, where a ban on the use of the cage/octagon was only lifted earlier this year.

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