The promotion returned to the UK for the first time since 2019 to host a event in London, but White revealed the card was almost cancelled earlier this month
UFC boss Dana White revealed he almost cancelled the promotion’s London event just two weeks before it took place.
For the first time in three years, the UFC returned to the English capital to host a Fight Night event stacked with homegrown talent. The card at The O2 arena was a massive success for the promotion, with nine finishes taking place on the night.
White revealed the gate for the London event was a massive $4.5 million, the highest in O2 arena and Fight Night history. All fighters who scored finishes on the card received performance bonuses, unlike previous Fight Nights where only a selection received bonuses.
Despite the success of UFC London, it almost suffered a location change. White admitted the promotion were close to moving the card to Abu Dhabi, but refused to reveal the issues they were encountering that almost forced the move.
“We had some problems, I was considering pulling out of here two weeks ago. I was gonna refund everybody’s tickets and go to Abu Dhabi,” White said at the post-fight press conference.
“The world is just a nutty place right now and there’s certain things that’s not just easy to do. I said I’m not going to play games, I’m going to go to places where I’m able to go and run my business and do what I want to do.”
White revealed the promotion will host their first event in France this year, whilst adding they will head back to the UK to hold another event after the success of the London card.
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In the main event of London card, Tom Aspinall picked up the biggest win of his career by submitting veteran Alexander Volkov. Arnold Allen moved closer to a featherweight title shot by knocking out Dan Hooker in the co-main event.
Elsewhere on the card, Paddy Pimblett submitted Kazula Vargas to pick up his second win in the promotion. The Liverpudlian’s teammate Molly McCann scored a knockout of the year contender by rendering Luana Carolina unconscious with a spinning elbow.
Featherweight prospect Ilia Topuria bagged a devastating knockout in his lightweight debut, finishing Jai Herbert on the main card opening bout. There were also finishes for Sergei Pavlovich, Paul Craig, Jack Shore and Muhammad Mokaev on the card.