Plans to Cement Las Vegas as the Hub of UFC

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When you think of Las Vegas, it is hard to think of anything other than gaming, casinos and bright lights.

The City of Lights almost never sleeps, not until last March at least, and it is usually bustling with tourists and gamers from all over the world, looking to chance their luck around the tables of the multiple establishments in the city. An article by Poker.org on things to do in Vegas explains how there are 200,000 slot machines in the city, and more than 100 casinos. It is a city for gaming, full of hope and bright lights, but it is also known for some great UFC events.

Las Vegas has always been the home of the UFC, ever since Victory in Vegas, otherwise known as UFC 33 touched down. Since then, more than 100 events have been held in the City, including blockbuster fights such as Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. Recently, Abu Dhabi has begun to challenge Vegas as a location for the biggest events, with UFC 257 one of the most recent big events held there.

The UFC’s global headquarters are still in Vegas though, and anyone worried the brand might be moving from Nevada will be settled by the news plans are afoot to further strengthen the brand’s commitment to the area. Thesportsrush.com report that there are now firm intentions to build a hotel exclusively for fighters on a 10-acre site, recently purchased in the city.

“We’re going to build our own hotel,” UFC President Dana White said of the land purchase. “We’ll be completely self-sufficient. It will be more designed for fighters. Just like the Apex was designed for fighting and putting on special events, this place would be designed exactly for what our needs are in a hotel.”

In the past, UFC fighters have enjoyed some of the luxury hotels around the city ahead of big events, but the pandemic meant alternative arrangements had to be made for social distancing. Fighters were asked to stay in a Holiday Inn and Residence Inn, completely taken over by the UFC, to ensure they remained in a safe bubble to comply with regulations. That means the new venture is necessary and, according to White, will pay for itself.

“Obviously with what’s going on right now, our own hotel would pay for itself real quickly,” he added.

This will not be the first foray into land and property the UFC have made, with White himself discussing purchasing a house or condo over in Abu Dhabi ahead of their events held on Fight Island. Last summer, six square miles of Yas Island was cordoned off ahead of their big event to create a safe zone for 2,000 people. That included all UFC fighters and their staff, as well as all local workmen building and maintaining the site, as well as those running the hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions in the area. The cost was described by Saeed Al-Saeed, the destination marketing director of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, as being ‘huge’, and was not part of the UFC’s five-year commitment to hosting events overseas.

Whilst that was an ambitious undertaking, the fact White and the UFC are laying further roots down in Vegas underlines their commitment to the city, which is a further boost to a local economy left reeling in the wake of 2020’s restrictions.