The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mixed martial arts promotion will stage its first event in the English city of Liverpool later this year, it has been announced.
Liverpool’s Echo Arena will host the event on May 27. UFC welterweight Darren Till (pictured), a Liverpool native, is set to headline the event, with an opponent to be announced at a later date.
Two middleweight bouts will also form part of the UFC Fight Night Liverpool card, with England’s Tom Breese to face off against Australia’s Daniel Kelly, and Canadian Elias Theodorou to take on Trevor Smith of the US.
David Shaw, UFC’s senior vice-president of international and content, said: “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018.”
The MMA Junkie website reported that Dublin’s 3Arena had been expected to host the event before the UFC eventually opted for Liverpool.
The announcement was made ahead of the UFC Fight Night 127 event at The O2 in London on Saturday. London has staged 10 UFC events in the past, with Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Nottingham having also hosted bouts in England.
The Echo Arena has a capacity of 11,000 and has previously staged MMA events organised by promotions such as Cage Warriors.