UFC intends on hosting an event in Cardiff in March 2023, according to fighter Muhammad Mokaev.
If Mokaev’s comments are correct, Wales’ first UFC event, as well as the UK’s first stadium show, will most likely take place at the 74,500-capacity Principality Stadium.
Previous arena events have taken place in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool, and Belfast.
UFC president, Dana White, has said that weather concerns are a limiting factor to staging a UK stadium show.
The Principality Stadium has the ability to transform into an indoor arena due to its retractable roof, but it does not cover the playing surface, leaving any event vulnerable to the weather.
Mokaev, a flyweight MMA fighter, is preparing to face Malcolm Gordon on the UFC 280 preliminary card this weekend in Abu Dhabi.
When talking with ESPN MMA, Mokaev said: “I’m going to finish Malcolm Gordon, one more fight in March, they’re planning to put UFC in Cardiff, right. This will be four fights in one year.”
UFC welterweight Leon Edwards, who is set to fight former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, has also revealed that his next fight could take place in Cardiff.
Speaking to The MAC Life earlier this month, Edwards said: “It’s in Wembley, bro. I’m not going over (to America) now. I did my job. I went to over to his backyard and took it off him, so now he has to come to my backyard. It’s on my terms now. He has to come over here.”
Although no date has been set, Edwards anticipates fighting in the first quarter of 2023.
Edwards said. “Early next year over here in the UK — the stadium show. I think they’re coming to Wembley because it’s probably cold in March. It might be Cardiff.”
In March, the UFC returned to London for the first time in three years, Dana White, confirmed that the UFC would return to the UK, sharing that boxing promoter Eddie Hearn had told him to make it a stadium show.
White told talkSPORT: “Eddie Hearn looked at me tonight and said ‘you should do a stadium show after tonight’. I’m going to tell you a couple of reasons I don’t like stadium shows. First of all, most of them are outdoors and this is not a country you do s*** outdoors, OK? Let’s be honest. And you don’t get the same experience you get in a stadium that you do [in an arena], but the difference here is, you guys are used to it. You guys are used to watching things in stadiums.”
White also spoke of his caution in using Wembley Stadium specifically.
“I’m definitely scared to go outside in England. So, I’m joking about, I’m serious but joking about Wembley. It would be fun but scary at the same time. The weather isn’t the greatest over there in England.”