UFC President Dana White has hinted several times at the possibility of hosting a UFC event in Africa.
The UFC has grown exponentially over the past few years and has cemented itself as the world leader in mixed martial arts.
The storytelling, fan experience and high-level fights the UFC puts up are second to none in the business.
This growth has led the UFC to all the continents in the world except Africa and Antarctica.
Seeing as the organization at one point had three African-born champions. Francis Ngannou (Heavyweight, Cameroon), Israel Adesanya (Middleweight, Nigeria) and Kamaru Usman (Welterweight, Nigeria).
It’s only a matter of time before the UFC visits the continent.
I can only imagine the logistics involved in hosting an event on a different continent. A few hurdles that come to mind include; setting up the octagon, flying out staff and fighters, and securing a venue and hotels.
Not to talk of all the negotiations with the government and athletic commissions.
The UFC has done it before and they can do it again.
This post looks at five possible locations where the UFC can host their first card in Africa.
The FNB Stadium in South Africa currently holds the record for the stadium with the largest capacity. 94,736 people can fit in this building to enjoy the fights.
The Stadium hosts a wide range of sporting activities year-round, ranging from football to rugby.
Plus, South Africa has a great tourism culture, enticing enough to host the World Cup (in 2010).
Salle Mohammed V
Should harsh weather conditions stop a fight card in Africa? No. That is why the Salle Mohammed V is a great option for an indoor event.
Although with a smaller capacity of 12,000, the arena located in Morocco has hosted several sporting events.
6,000km from South Africa and you’ll get to the 60,000-capacity Abuja stadium.
Nigeria is a ripe spot for MMA because it has two world champions within the organization.
If GSP and Conor can drag the UFC to their homeland, no doubt that the Nigerian duo can do the same.
Baba Yara Stadium
Ghana is the sweetheart of Africa, a pioneer in every sense.
The Republic of Ghana was the first colonial state to gain independence in the continent.
The largest stadium in the country is the Baba Yara Stadium with a seating capacity of a little over 40,000.
Ghana has its own pioneer in the UFC – the Welterweight knockout artist Abdul Razak Al-Hassan.
The nation also boasts of an immense boxing history with the likes of Azumah Nelson, Isaac Dogboe and Ike Quartey holding world titles.
You can be sure that the people here love a scrap.
Paul Biya Stadium
The Paul Biya Stadium has a capacity of 60,000 and is located in the home of the UFC Heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou. The stadium also serves as the home grounds for the Cameroon national football team.
UFC African Fighters
These are fighters who were born or have African roots.
Francis Ngannou (Cameroon, HW)
Israel Adesanya (Nigeria, MW)
Kamaru Usman (Nigeria, WW)
Dricus Du Plessis (South Africa, MW)
Abdul Razak Alhassan (Ghana, WW)
Sodiq Yusuff (Nigeria, FW)
Kenny Nzechuku (Nigerian, LHW)
Tafon Nchukwi (Cameroon, LHW)
David Onama (Uganda, FW)
Mounir Lazzez (Tunisia, WW)
Dalcha Lugiambula (Congo, MW)
Manel Kape (Angola, FlyW)
JP Buys (South Africa, FlyW)
Mike Mathetha aka. Blood Diamond (Zimbabwe, WW)
Africa is looking forward to the UFC’s first event, hopefully, we get that soon.