Promotion will visit state for first time in more than three years
The UFC is heading to the Sunshine State for the first time in more than three years.
Thanks to fan voting in the Harley-Davidson Hometown Throwdown contest, the UFC will visit Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for its June 8 card on the FX cable network. The promotion on Thursday announced the host city and venue, the BankAtlantic Center in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Sunrise. Tickets for the event will go on sale next Friday, April 13.
UFC on FX 3, or officially UFC’s Harley-Davidson Hometown Throwdown on FX, will feature a main event flyweight semifinal rematch between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall. The two 125-pounders will meet again to finally get some closure on their first fight, which took last month in Sydney, Australia, at UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann. The two met in the semifinals of the UFC’s four-man tournament to determine its first flyweight champion.
After a close fight, Johnson was announced as the split decision winner. But at the post-fight news conference, UFC president Dana White revealed that a mistake was made in the score tallying by the commissioner in Sydney and the fight was actually a draw. The UFC had created a provision for such an occurrence, and a fourth sudden-victory round was supposed to take place. But it didn’t happen when Johnson was declared the winner. Now the two will face each other one more time to determine who will face Joseph Benavidez for the UFC’s first flyweight title, a bout that now likely will happen in late 2012 instead of this summer. Benavidez beat Yasuhiro Urushitani in Sydney right after the Johnson-McCall fight, but now must wait to learn whom his opponent will be.
In addition to the Johnson-McCall fight on the FX broadcast, which will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern on June 8, fans have a chance to vote for the fight they want to see open the main card. Fan voting at ufc.com/hometownthrowdown is between a bantamweight fight featuring Eddie Wineland and Scott Jorgensen, welterweights Mike Pierce and Carlos Eduardo Rocha and welterweights Seth Baczynski and Lance Benoist. As of late Friday morning, the Wineland-Jorgensen bout is leading the voting with 40 percent of the tally.
The last UFC event in Florida was in February 2009, a Fight Night headlined by Joe Lauzon and Jeremy Stephens in Tampa. Prior to that, the UFC was in Hollywood, Fla., for a Fight Night card on June 12, 2007 headlined by Sam Stout and Spencer Fisher, who coincidentally will fight for the third time just two weeks later at UFC on FX 4 in Atlantic City, N.J.
“I’m excited to bring the UFC back to Florida,” UFC president Dana White said in a statement. “The first fight between Johnson and McCall was incredible, and on June 8, they will finally finish the fight to determine who is going to fight for the first flyweight title.”