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*VIDEO* T-Mobile Arena is announced as the new home of the UFC

Matthew Wells

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A special announcement was made before the UFC 209 Ceremonial Weigh-ins. The promotion has a building to call home alongside the Las Vegas Golden Knights, as the UFC is named an Anchor Tenant of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In addition to the presentation of the new “Home of UFC” sign that will hang in the lobby of the T-Mobile Arena, the UFC announced the full details via press release:

Establishing an industry first, T-Mobile Arena has entered into an extended multi-year agreement with UFC® that names the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization as an Anchor Tenant of the arena owned by Las Vegas Arena Company, LLC, which is majority owned by AEG and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM).

The partnership, which also establishes T-Mobile Arena as UFC’s exclusive Las Vegas arena destination, marks the first time that a global sports brand, other than a professional sports franchise, has been named as an Anchor Tenant for a sports and entertainment venue. The milestone agreement was negotiated by UFC owners WME | IMG, LLC; Zuffa, LLC and the ownership partners of T-Mobile Arena, which opened April 6, 2016 and has already hosted three of UFC’s most successful events including UFC® 200: TATE vs. NUNES, UFC® 202: DIAZ vs. MCGREGOR 2 and UFC® 207: NUNES vs. ROUSEY.

“Las Vegas has always been the home of UFC, and after more than a decade it is awesome to now have a historic venue deal in the Fight Capital of the World to make it official,” UFC President Dana White said.

UFC Senior Vice President of Event Development and Operations Peter Dropick echoed White’s excitement: “In less than one year, we have set multiple records in the T-Mobile Arena and we look forward to continuing to work with our long-standing partners, both world leaders in the arena and entertainment sectors, to elevate and showcase the best of our brand.”

The comprehensive agreement calls for UFC to host a minimum of four events annually. UFC will have priority scheduling for designated major events windows, such as International Fight Week, and will have a presence at T-Mobile Arena – headlining the welcome sign in the lobby alongside the Vegas Golden Knights, as well as concourse activations, signage and retail space. WME | IMG also owns the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), which has a long-term agreement for its World Finals at T-Mobile Arena.

Todd Goldstein, Chief Revenue Officer, AEG, said, “From day one, AEG and MGM Resorts have been committed to developing a showplace for the very best in concerts, championship sporting events, awards shows and special events that would be unrivaled not only in Las Vegas but in our industries. There is no doubt that UFC is synonymous with the biggest and best events today that attract unprecedented international audiences on platforms of all kinds. T-Mobile Arena is truly a one-of-a-kind, world class arena that will create the most outstanding stage and atmosphere worthy of the incredible events of all kinds UFC and  WME | IMG will bring to our venue and most importantly, our fans.”

Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM Resorts International, said, “We have enjoyed a tremendous partnership with UFC for many years and are excited to enter into this exclusive agreement at T-Mobile Arena, a first for the industry. While UFC calls Las Vegas home, there are few brands as powerful globally. We look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world for years to come for the kind of spectacular events and entertainment that can only be found in this city.”

UFC joins the new Vegas Golden Knights NHL expansion team, set to begin play this fall, as the arena’s two Anchor Tenants.  The 20,000-seat venue has been designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s standards for LEED® Gold Certification and was recently named ‘Best New Arena’ by Pollstar Magazine.”

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Sensor Equipped Tracking Gloves to be Used at UFC 219

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From implementing the likes of USADA, the UFC Performance Instiute and the introduction of the instant replay. The UFC has always prioritized being at the top of the sport science game. 

Now, at UFC 219 on December 30th, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has approved a test run for sensor equipped tracking gloves to be worn by a selection of fighters on the card.

The technology behind the gloves comes from AGI International (an analytics company) along with HEED (a consumer platform company). A collaboration founded by the UFC.

After a sparring exhibition between top lightweights, Edson Barbosa (19-4-0) and Mark Diakiese (12-1-0), HEED co-founder Mati Kochavi had this to say regarding how “70 insights” collected from sensors on the gloves, the corner-men, the octagon itself can depict a clearer image of a fight.

“Those insights are covering entire aspects  of the fight between Diakiese and Barbose. Their passion, power of the fight, resiliency and strategy. All happen in the octagon.“

Shouldn’t sport be told in real-time, with real data, information and emotions?”

He finally promises “We are a company which is trying to revolutionize the way we (broadcast) sports and live events”

As for now there is little to zero information into the technical aspects of the gloves, however products like a Fit Bit have similar abilities to give data on speed,  force, motion, elevation, heart rate etc.

The UFC 219 card takes place on Decemebr 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It will be headlined by a women’s featherweight title fight between current champion Cris Cyborg (18-1) and former UFC bantamweight champion, Holly Holm (11-3).

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Mark Hunt Returns to Fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221

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UFC 221 in Perth has officially added a another Australian to the main card. Joining Robert Whittaker is the knockout legend Mark Hunt.

The Daily Telegraph first reported that Hunt will be stepping into the octagon to face #9 Curtis Blaydes. Some weren’t sure if we would ever see Hunt fight again after he was pulled from the main event in UFC Fight Night 21 against Marcin Tybura. The UFC removed him due to “medical concerns” while Hunt was stating he was perfectly fine.

After getting evaluated and cleared to fight by Australian and American doctors, it looks like his time has come to return.  Hunt’s last fight was back in June when he derailed the Derrick Lewis hype train with a 4th round TKO win.

Hunt had been adamant about calling out #3 ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and trying to get that rematch booked, labelling Werdum a “chicken shit” and a “coward.”

Curtis “Razor” Blaydes who has an 8-1 record, is coming off a TKO victory due to doctor stoppage at UFC 217 in November. Since losing to now title challenger Francis Ngannou in April of 2016, Blaydes has rattled off three straight wins over Alexey Oleynik, Daniel Omielanczuk, and Cody East.

With all this momentum from the win streak, Blaydes looks to capitalize and win the biggest fight of his career against Hunt.

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Angela Magana says she has been cut from the UFC

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Angela Magana announced her release from the UFC on Twitter yesterday.

The now-former UFC strawweight was 0-3, in as many contests with the promotion. Her most recent loss came at the hands of Amanda Cooper, at UFC 218, on the UFC Fight Pass Prelims. A bout which she lost by TKO in the second round.

Her first opportunity arose with the UFC when she appeared on, The Ultimate Fighter 20. A #12 seed, in the tournament of strawweights, Magana lost her preliminary round bout to #4 seed, Aisling Daly. Unfortunately, her promotional debut, on The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 20, resulted in another loss. Tecia Torres defeated Magana that night via unanimous decision. The following summer, Magana fought Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson at The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 21. Waterson won by submission (rear-naked choke) in the third round of the bout.

Oddly enough, following her July 2015, loss to Waterson and before her final bout with the UFC, Magana seemingly instigated a feud between herself and current featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg. A feud which began on social media and boiled over at the 2017 UFC Athlete Retreat. Disregarding her well-documented spat with Cris “Cyborg”, Magana managed her way through a storm of misfortune on her way to UFC 218.

After falling in love with Puerto Rico while on vacation, Magana moved to the island in the fall of 2016. Her entire life followed her there, as she began to train on the island she fell in love with. The tropical paradise turned to an apocalyptic wasteland following Hurricane Maria, the category five hurricane which decimated the area. The disaster became an extreme hindrance for the strawweight.

Her UFC 218 bout became official in early October. Yet, in spite of horrendous living conditions, she powered on through the natural disaster that left her home without power, until the week of the fight. Magana took to social media to tell fans that she would not stop fighting and is currently training for her next opportunity.

 

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