As the talk for one UK UFC event winds down comes talk for another. According to a report at UK based website MMABay, the UFC plans on returning to England in February for what will presumably be UFC 95.
Hot on the heels of UFC 89 this weekend in Birmingham, Mmabay can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that the UFC are set to return to England in February 2009 for an event, likely to be UFC 95.
Following the event it was mentioned to a member of the Mmabay team by more than one source that the promotion intended to return in February, following the Superbowl card. As well as this it was revealed that London and O2 arena, where the UFC have made their UK home, would again be the venue.
Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell were named as possible participants in the report, although it didn’t mention and specifics like potential opponents. I have an idea though, not a very original one, but how about they fight each other.
Let’s be honest here, England pretty much gets screwed every time the UFC heads their way. The cards are almost always lackluster, although the UFC gets a pass on UFC 85 for what that card was supposed to be, and England deserves a little star power thrown their way. Liddell vs Silva may have lost a little bit of its luster when Liddell got KTFO by Rashad, but hey, it’s better than Bisping vs Leben.
England, we’ll cross our fingers for you.
[UPDATE 10/28/08 10:03AM ET] – Fighter Only Magazine is reporting the same info as above (originally reported on 10/20) and adds the event is scheduled for February 21, 2009.
[UPDATE 10/28/08 3:21PM ET] – MMA Bay, who originally broke this story over a week ago, is now reporting that Chuck Liddell is “lined up” to face Anderson Silva in the main event. However, that would be news to Silva. In an interview with Sherdog.com published today, Anderson was asked if there was any truth to the Liddell rumor. He responded, “Thank you for the information, I didn’t know about that. Let’s see what [Dana White] will say.”
[UPDATE 10/29/08 1:30PM ET] – Another reason Silva vs Liddell sounds more fiction than fact. From Kevin Iole’s mailbag.
As I said earlier, I would hope a Liddell [vs Anderson Silva] fight is made soon, but when my colleague, Dan Wetzel, and I asked [Dana] White that question almost simultaneously, White seemed to laugh it off and said he didn’t know. He didn’t seem all that interested. I had talked with him about it in a private phone conversation about 10 days earlier and he was no more interested in it then. I’m not saying it won’t happen, just that Dana doesn’t seem enthused by the idea.
That’s number two of the three parties putting that rumor to rest, at least for now.
The more I think about this match-up though, I can see why Dana wouldn’t be too crazy about it. On one side, they have a fighter who the UFC is essentially trying to build into a major star by billing him as the greatest fighter on the planet. On the other, they have their biggest star, who is rapidly approaching the end of his career. It’s in the UFC’s best interest for Liddell to look good in his next outing so they can get as much out of his star power while they can. Has has lost three out of his last four. They don’t want it to be four out of his last five.
In short, it’s in everyone’s best interests for Silva and Liddell to win, so why match them up when one of them is all but guaranteed to lose?