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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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The UFC are close to confirming a show in Dublin for later this year

MMA’s largest organisation appears ready to return for its third event at the 3Arena.

The 3Arena hosted the UFC in 2009 and 2014.
The 3Arena hosted the UFC in 2009 and 2014.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IT LOOKS LIKE the UFC will be back in Ireland in 2015 after all.

There had been doubts about the organisation’s next event here after plans for a visit to Croke Park were put on hold, but it now appears that they will be back at the 3Arena later this year.

Dublin native Dave Allen, who’s in town today for the UFC 189 media tour, is the UFC’s Senior Vice President and General Manager in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and he spoke exclusively to The42 this morning.

He said: “I’ll make a promise to you that we will be back in Dublin at some stage this year… if I can get through the contractual issues that are involved in that. I’m dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on a particular date at the moment, and once that happens, it’ll be all systems go.”

While Allen wouldn’t disclose the exact date the organisation will be back in Ireland, it’s understood that Saturday, 24 October, is being targeted.

The imminent return of the UFC will come as good news for Irish fans ahead of this afternoon’s event at the Covention Centre in Dublin, which will see Conor McGregor and featherweight world champion Jose Aldo take part in a Q&A session with fans to promote their eagerly-anticipated bout at UFC 189 in Las Vegas on 11 July.

Should the UFC return for a show at the 3Arena this year, it’s unlikely to feature McGregor. However, Irish fans can expect to see the likes of Norman Parke, Cathal Pendred and Joseph Duffy in action on home soil.

The UFC first came to Dublin in 2009, before returning last July for a sold-out event that was headlined by Conor McGregor’s first-round TKO of Diego Brandao.

We’ll bring you an in-depth interview with Dave Allen this weekend, charting his journey from League of Ireland referee to the head of the UFC in the EMEA region.

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Paul Dollery

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