UFC Dublin Officially Shelved Amid COVID-19 Restrictions
By Ross Markey
The UFC’s scheduled return to ‘The Emerald Isle’ for UFC Fight Night Dublin on August 15th – has been officially cancelled, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The promotion was set to host a ‘Fight Night’ event at the 3Arena from the capital’s Docklands on August 15th. – with the venue capable of housing 13,000 attendees.
It’s been five years since the Octagon landed in the countries capital – with that extended hiatus set to continue, due to the current restrictions imposed surrounding public gatherings preventing a landing pad since October 24th in 2015, where then flyweight contenders, Paddy Holohan, and Louis Smolka headlined the event.
The event – penned for August 15th – was slated to feature a high-stakes middleweight pairing between former champion, Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker, and one-time welterweight title challenger, Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till taking headlining honours. That pairing has since been relocated to a UFC ‘Fight Island’ event on July 15th. – from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Releasing an official statement on Wednesday morning, the promotion confirmed it’s decision to cancel the entire event, before hinting at a return to the Republic of Ireland in the future.
“Due to current government restrictions on public gatherings in the Republic of Ireland, #UFCDublin originally scheduled for August 15th. will not take place as planned at the @3ArenaDublin.
UFC looks forward to returning with an event in the near future.”
The promotion has featured three cards in the capital since January of 2009. UFC 93 took place at the then, O2 Arena – with former Pride FC middleweight and welterweight best, Dan Henderson meeting former UFC 185-pound titleholder, Rich Franklin in the event’s curtain closer.
In July 2014 – the Octagon returned to Dublin for a UFC ‘Fight Night’ event, which featured a featherweight matchup between former lightweight and 145-pound gold holder, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, and The Ultimate Fighter 14 winner, Diego Brandão.