In a major boost to the largest mixed martial arts organisation, UFC announced on Friday two landmark events that is set to take Europe by storm this spring.
UFC is set to make its first trips to Croatia and Netherlands, visiting the Zagreb Arena in Croatia on April 10 and the Ahoy Rotterdam in Netherlands on May 8. Both events will take place on a Sunday.
The events will be broadcasted live on FS1 in the United States and on BT Sport in the UK, Extreme in Poland, Fox Netherlands in Holland and on Fight Channel in Croatia, according to the official website.
Tickets for UFC Fight Night for Zagreb Arena will go on general sale on Friday, Feb. 12 while tickets for UFC Fight Night for Ahoy Rotterdam will go on general sale from Thursday, March 24.
Speaking about the landmark events, James Elliott, UFC EMEA General Manager and Vice President said via the official website: “It is truly a testimony to the growth of the UFC brand to be breaking into two new markets in Europe in the first half of 2016. The fans have been demanding local live events and we will not disappoint with two compelling shows.”
Both Croatia and Netherlands have contributed to some of the most famous combat fighters in UFC history.
Croatian Stipe Miocic who put on a great performance over former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC 195 on January 2 said: “It would be a dream if I was able to fight in Croatia, I travelled there for the first time in 2015 to train with Mirko Cro Cop and it was a great experience just to see the country and spend some time there with my family. I don’t know what the UFC has in store for me now but I’ll definitely be back in Croatia one way or another.”
Fellow Dutch heavyweight Stefan Struve too couldn’t hide his excitement and welcoming the events said: “I got goosebumps when I was told the UFC is finally coming our way, I’m thrilled it’s finally going to happen. No matter what I want to fight on this card, at this point in my career this is what I need to fight in front of my friends and family and deliver a show like I can.”
The official report quotes the Project Manager of Zagreb Arena saying, “We are more than thrilled that we will host such a spectacular fighting organisation like UFC, not just because of the beauty of a sport, but because UFC promotes health, will to succeed and the way of life.”
Peter van der Veer, CEO Ahoy Rotterdam said, “We are thrilled to be the first Dutch venue to host UFC. Ahoy Rotterdam has a long history in sports. We have hosted many national, European and world championships and other premier sporting events like Sixday Indoor Cycling, ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament and the Premier League of Darts. In short, Rotterdam is the perfect city to host this spectacular event.”