Six days to go until UFC Fight Night arrives in London. Prior to that we have a stack of work to do. Press duties are taken up from Wednesday through to Saturday, lots of work is on the horizon and far from being three days off work, this will be three days of hard work I have no doubt.
This is a very important event I the calendar for UKMMA and the UFC as a whole in the EMEA region. BT have been pushing MMA through BT Sport, added to this Channel 5 have picked up the nights entertainment on free to view. This is significant as the sister Channel 5* is the only other way to view terrestrial MMA in this country showing the irregular but excellent BAMMA events.
Although I am entrenched in the industry I’m getting a real buzz off of the community getting behind the home fighters, especially Jimi Manuwa who is taking on the excellent Alexander Gustafsson. Manuwa is the underdog, much as how us Brits like it. This time I’m confident we wont be beaten in the semi-finals and that Jimi will bring home the bacon for the country.
Gary Cook has a lot riding on this event, the lower status Fight Night with no titles on the card mean that interest in the US may not be at a peak on Saturday, however the reach to prime time in EMEA is key. The event is mostly staffed by European and UK fighters so can only help to strengthen the division and show the stateside fighters what’s on offer.
The remainder of the week will, I have no doubt pan out well, new alliances forged and old ones strengthened. We’re in for an exciting time and despite my short time in the industry I really do feel that we’re on the cusp of something special.