Hoping UFC Comes to Your State Soon? Don’t Hold Your Breath

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The UFC won’t be coming to a city near you this year or anytime soon unless you live in the MMA promotion’s home state of Nevada.

In 2016, when New York state finally lifted its ban on MMA, it marked a turning point; MMA was now legal in all 50 states. Fans looked forward to seeing their favorite UFC champions competing close to home, but that reality hasn’t materialized. Fight fans hoping to attend a top-level MMA event should prepare to travel or look for alternative promotions.

After seven years of MMA being declared legal in all fifty states, the sport’s top-level promotion, the UFC, remains highly selective over where it holds its events.

Where Are UFC Events Being Held This Year?

The following list shows upcoming UFC events scheduled for the second half of the year and the hosting cities.

  • UFC on ESPN: Holloway vs. The Korean Zombie – Singapore
  • UFC on ESPN: Gane vs. Spivak – Paris, France
  • UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland – Sydney, Australia
  • UFC Fight Night 225: Grasso vs. Shevchenko 2 – Las Vegas
  • UFC on ESPN: Feziev vs. Gamrot – Las Vegas
  • UFC Fight Night 226 – Las Vegas
  • UFC Fight Night 227 – Las Vegas
  • UFC PPV 294: Makhachev vs. Oliveira 2 – Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
  • UFC Fight Night 228: Blaydes vs. Almeida – Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • UFC PPV 295: Jones vs. Miocic – New York City
  • UFC Fight Night 229 – Las Vegas
  • UFC 296 – Las Vegas

For fans living on the East Coast, UFC 295 on November 11th in New York’s Madison Square Garden is the only chance to attend an event without taking a flight.

There is one fight everyone is interested in that doesn’t appear on this list. It’s the ultimate alpha vs. sigma male battle: Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg. Despite the doubt that this fight will ever happen, much anticipation still surrounds it. With real jiu-jitsu competition experience, Zuckerberg is expected to beat Musk, who has been learning martial arts at home in preparation.

Most recently, Musk tweeted that the fight would have an ancient Rome theme and even offered to fight at Zuckerberg’s house.

Zuckerberg responded, “If Elon ever gets serious about a real date and official event, he knows how to reach me. Otherwise, time to move on.”

Other Promotions Hold More Widespread Events

Although known in the fight game as the top tier of MMA competition, the UFC isn’t the only way to watch professional mixed martial arts. Bellator is another fan favorite, which even Joe Rogan, UFC commentator and podcaster who also knows how to fight, regularly discusses on his podcast.

Bellator holds events across the U.S. and globally, offering another chance to watch professional mixed martial arts at the highest level. Many of the fighters’ names now at Bellator will be familiar to anyone who is a fan of the UFC, with retired UFC fighters often moving to Bellator.

Former UFC fighters now fighting at Bellator include Yoel Romero, Lyoto Machida, Ryan Bader, and Cris Cyborg. Most importantly, Bellator events occur in cities and states that the UFC rarely visits. Recent events have been in Sioux Falls, Chicago, Honolulu, Temecula, Uncasville, Tacoma, and St. Louis.

The UFC and Bellator hold a limited number of events each year, so getting around to every state simply isn’t possible. Local MMA organizations offer fight fans yet another opportunity to watch high-level martial arts closer to home. Invicta FC, based in Enka, North Carolina, and Legacy Fighting Alliance in Houston, Texas, are great examples.

The Easiest Way to Watch UFC

Of course, the easiest way to watch the UFC remains available to everyone – watching at home on pay-per-view. Over 500,000 people tuned in to the latest UFC pay-per-view event, according to The Sports Daily, earning the company an estimated $38 Million.

Pay-per-view tickets for the UFC’s latest event, UFC 292, were advertised by ESPN+ for $79.99.

While pay-per-view tickets aren’t cheap, the convenience of watching at home means no travel or accommodation expenses. Sitting at home with friends and some snacks might be the best way to create a UFC event in the comfort of your own home.