Big news, fight fans! The Ultimate Fighting Championship is heading down under once again in early 2018, with the global MMA powerhouse announcing that UFC 221 will be taking place in Perth.
The event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 11th at the 15,500-capacity Perth Arena, as revealed by the UFC a short time ago.
— UFC_AUSNZ (@UFC_AUSNZ) October 31, 2017
You heard it! @ufc is headed to Perth Arena! Feb 11 2018 🥊🏆
— RAC Arena (@RACArena) October 31, 2017
UFC 221 will be just the fourth “numbered” PPV event – the promotion’s premium shows – held in Australia, and the first since late 2015.
The global fighting promotion first visited Australia in Februray, 2010 for UFC 11o, which took place at the Sydney Super Dome, with a return event at the same venue, 127, going down almost exactly twelve months later in 2011. In late 2015, the promotion again visited our shores for UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, an event which saw Ronda Rousey shockingly handed her first career loss by Holly Holm via getting her head kicked off.
The card at 221 in Perth is looming as a stacked one, and could very well be carrying a blockbuster main event bout featuring Sydney-based slugger Robert Whittaker in a fight for what could be Australia’s first-ever UFC world championship.
Whittaker is the current holder of the Middleweight Interim Championship, and is scheduled to face the winner of the Middleweight Championship bout between incumbent Michael Bisping and returning champion Georges St. Pierre at New York’s Madison Square Garden this coming Sunday (AUS time).
Whittaker has been offered front-row seats at the Garden for the event by UFC officials, indicating that they expect some sort of confrontation between the Interim Champ and the World Champ to take place after the title fight.
When asked about a potential show-stopping home country fight, Whittaker remained coy, but hopeful:
Anything can happen between now and February 11. But fighting on home soil is always a dream come true and I’d love to unify the title here in Australia.
For what it’s worth, Whittaker’s career record on Australian soil is almost spotless, with his last loss in Australia occurring way back in 2012. Since joining the UFC, Whittaker is 5-0 in Australia.
Ticket pre-sales for UFC 221 in Perth are now open for registration via this link.