UFCThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization, recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world. The UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC. This promotion is responsible for solidifying the sport's postion in the history-books.
UFC is currently undergoing a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on FOX, FX, and FUEL TV in the United States, as well as in 35 other countries worldwide.
With a potential middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort looking less and less likely for UFC 109, on Super Bowl Weekend in early February in Las Vegas, the Zuffa brass have been struggling to find ways around the injury bug that has been plaguing the company lately and forcing an unprecedent number of feature fights to be re-shuffled. Although rumored fights featuring Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman and Nate Marquardt vs. Chael Sonnen, along with the participation of Matt Hughes, are likely to pan out for the UFC 109 main card, none of these make for a compelling main event. It now appears that the UFC will turn to their welterweight superstar and a rising British stud to fill that spot.
UFC President Dana White has been dropping hints lately, and if we put the pieces of the puzzle together, it appears that UFC 109 will be headlined by Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy for the welterweight championship.
Shortly after Dan Hardy dominated Mike Swick en-route to a unanimous decision win at UFC 105 last weekend, White confirmed that the Brit had earned the next title shot. A few days later, when asked about potential locations for the fight, White had this to say in an interview with MMA Weekly:
"I honestly don’t know where it will be, but it could end up being in Vegas," said White. "Brits have no problem going to Vegas. It’s packed every time Ricky Hatton fights there. We’ll see, probably Vegas though."
Yesterday, at a pre-UFC 106 Q & A session for UFC Fan Club members, White stated, according to Sherdog:
GSP-Hardy will be in February.
There are two February cards currently scheduled: 109 in Vegas on 2/6, and the promotion's Australian debut at UFC 110 on 2/21. Obviously, only of those cards is the Vegas location that Dana referred to in the response to MMA Weekly, so it looks like we'll be seeing GSP-Hardy at 109. If that assumption pans out, the card will likely look something like this:
Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy - welterweight championship
Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman
Matt Hughes vs. TBA
Nate Marquardt vs. Chael Sonnen
Matt Serra vs. Frank Trigg
Demian Maia vs. Dan Miller
Rolles Gracie vs. Mostapha Al-Turk
Rob Emerson vs. Philippe Nover
Ronnys Torres vs. Melvin Guillard
With superstars and legends GSP, Couture, and Hughes all on the same Super Bowl weekend card, the event could have the potential to do huge PPV numbers. We'll keep you updated as more news develops, but 109 is starting to look very interesting...provided that the injury curse doesn't strike again.
Sounds early... but great if it happens. I reckon GSP is gagging to fight somebody.