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UFC to host 'landmark events' in two European countries for the first time

The events have been set for 10 April and 8 May.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

THE UFC has announced that it will host events in Croatia and the Netherlands in 2016.

The leading organisation in mixed martial arts will be visiting both countries for the first time, as it continues its planned expansion in the European market.

UFC Fight Night Zagreb will take place on Sunday, 10 April at the Zagreb Arena. UFC Fight Night Rotterdam has been set for Sunday, 8 May at the Ahoy Rotterdam.

In a press release, the UFC described the shows as “landmark events”. The organisation says both events will be broadcast live in Ireland on BT Sport, and tickets for Zagreb and Rotterdam will go on general sale on 12 February and 24 March respectively.

The UFC has sought to increase its presence in Europe in recent years, staging events in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Germany and Poland.

While no fights have been confirmed for the UFC’s visits to Croatia and the Netherlands, a heavyweight bout between Stefan Struve and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva has been rumoured for Rotterdam.

Struve said: “I got goosebumps when I was told the UFC is finally coming our way. I’m thrilled it’s finally going to happen. No matter what, I want to fight on this card. At this point in my career, this is what I need: to fight in front of my friends and family and deliver a show like I can.”

828fc97b-45d4-448a-8bde-ff131341b632 Source: UFC

No 2016 show has been announced for Ireland as of yet, although UFC Fight Night 83 — headlined by Anderson Silva versus Michael Bisping — will take place at London’s O2 Arena on 27 February.

“It is truly a testimony to the growth of the UFC brand to be breaking into two new markets in Europe in the first half of 2016. The fans have been demanding local live events and we will not disappoint with two compelling shows,” said James Elliott, the UFC’s EMEA General Manager and Vice President.

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Paul Dollery

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