After almost two and a half years away from the Hub, the UFC will finally be returning to Boston in 2013.
The first and only time a UFC event was held in Boston was on August 28, 2010, for UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2. That night, former lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn took on Frankie Edgar for the second time trying to regain his 155-pound belt. The fight didn’t go as planned and Edgar won his second consecutive win against Penn by unanimous decision. Edgar maintained the championship until February 26, 2012, when he lost by unanimous decision to current champion Benson Henderson at UFC 144.
UFC 118 drew a respectable crowd of 14,168 to the TD Garden and pulled in a sizable live gate total of $2,800,000. The previous event, UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen (I), was held at Oracle Arena in Oakland California and pulled in only $1,560,000. The succeeding fight, UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop, was held at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and pulled in $1,600,000.
“We’ll be going back to Boston again this year. We’ll do Boston this year,” White, who spent part of his childhood in Ware, Massachusetts, said Saturday night. “It’s sooner than people think; I just can’t announce it right now.”
One possible date for the UFC’s return to Boston is July 27th for UFC on Fox 8. A city has yet to be announced for the event, and it fits into the ambiguous “sooner than you think” comment White made. If UFC on Fox 8 were to take place in Boston, it would be the first Fox event on the east coast so far this year. The preceding and succeeding events will be held in Chicago and San Jose, California, respectively.
What do you think of the UFC returning to Boston this year? Given UFC 118’s attendance and gate total, is Boston a viable option for future events?