The UFC have high aspirations that ironically would coincide with their 20th anniversary celebration. A new report suggests that the UFC have their sights set on Texas Stadium with what they hope is their biggest event in history.
“The idea would be to have Silva vs. Jon Jones and Velasquez vs. Dos Santos at the stadium, in October, at the same time as the state fair of Texas, perhaps on 10/12 or 10/19. That much is known to be at least something talked about. With Madison Square Garden seeming more and more unlikely for November, this show could be billed as UFC 20th anniversary show, with the idea of trying to repeat the success of UFC 100.”
Meltzer is also quick to point out that this is not necessarily a 20th anniversary event. The timing just happens to coincide within a few weeks of the UFC’s first event. A few months back Anderson Silva told reporters that he was planning on fighting Jon Jones in Madison Square Garden in November which would have been an anniversary show. That event got scratched once it became apparent that MMA would not be legalized in New York in time.
This is a very ambitious plan but not a well thought out one if you think about it. To even think about the event I would imagine that the UFC had to put some kind of deposit down on it. Once that happened, why in the world would they book Anderson Silva in July? Let’s be honest for a second here. There are only two fights that you could put on top at Texas Stadium and they both involve Silva. The UFC are really playing fire with here if this is the case. If Silva loses or gets hurt they are screwed. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not like some people who think the Silva vs. GSP or Jones fights become meaningless with a loss. I still think they are big fights but they certainly aren’t as enticing and probably aren’t enough in this climate to sell out Texas Stadium.
Once you take an undefeated Silva out of the equation you don’t have anything that can fill Texas Stadium. The UFC is not nearly as hot today as it was a few years ago in the United States. Going in there with Cain vs. JDS on top is not going to do it with all due respect to the two great heavyweights. Unless they can somehow lure Brock Lesnar back into the octagon all they have is a stadium reserved with a lot of “what ifs”.
The other part of the equation is Jon Jones. Jones has been adamant about wanting to break Tito Ortiz’s UFC light heavyweight title defense record in his next fight and not fighting Silva in 2013. Jones isn’t booked to fight anyone right now so either the UFC needs to keep him on ice until the Weidman vs. Silva fight or book him quickly. I have always felt that Jones’ dancing around the Silva fight was more a negotiating ploy. I heard a rumor that he was asking for $10 million for the fight which if in Texas Stadium, is a number that the UFC could meet or come close to meeting. Booking a stadium for that fight makes me believe those rumors because it wouldn’t be feasible to pay him $10 million and Anderson’s money if it were booked in a 20,000 seat arena.
Georges St-Pierre could be the wild card here. GSP has reportedly told Dana White he believes Silva will lose to Weidman and would like to fight Johny Hendricks. The rumor is that they are looking to set this fight up around August. That would take GSP completely out of the mix for a Silva October fight if that were the case. As much as I’d rather see Silva vs. GSP I think GSP vs. Silva is the fight to make on a big show like this. Jones is not the kind of draw that Silva and GSP are for a reason. GSP and Silva are more recognizable names to casual fans. Keep in mind that nothing is signed yet for GSP vs. Hendricks so you never know. The UFC may be thinking the same way and setting up a smokescreen with this GSP-Hendricks talk.
This is not Dana White’s first flirtation with Texas Stadium. He has had his eyes locked on the stadium for a long time now in regards to a big UFC event. White revealed back in January that he was close to setting up a Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko fight at the stadium and was close to signing Fedor.
White has said several times that he plans to deliver Jones vs. Silva at the end of 2013. I’d love to see it happen but October seems a little ambitious even for him.
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