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.“
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 Europe (@UFCEurope) June 24, 2020
UFC looks forward to returning with an event in the near future pic.twitter.com/D5E7CKCyfS
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.