UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney is officially done and dusted but it is not long before the octagon returns to Australian shores for the recently announced Perth event.
While many lamented the lack of star power for the Sydney show, the next event in Perth will serve as a pay-per-view offering – which typically means big names of the sport and championship fights.
Speaking to media after the Sydney event, Dave Shaw, The UFC’s Vice President of International Content stated that UFC 221 will be a blockbuster event.
“We want to blow it out of the water and make it a very significant event and make a real impact, not only for Western Australians but for Australian fans all over the country” Shaw stated.
The obvious main event for such a significant offering would be a title unification bout between current UFC middleweight champion Georges St Pierre and interim-title holder Robert Whittaker.
Despite GSP stating that it is in his contract to defend the title against Whittaker, he is yet to come out and say that he plans on doing so. Many believe the Canadian would not come to Australia for a title defence, or that he may relinquish the title altogether.
“No news yet” Shaw said on the intentions of St-Pierre.
“Listen, bottom line is that we want to have Robbie fight in Perth.
“The stars are sort of aligning for that event, having a pay-per-view there.
“It’s probably going to come down to Georges.
“Three months for anybody is a quick turnaround, so if we can line up that fight, that’d be amazing. But there’s no real update at this point.”
A showdown between St-Pierre and Whittaker in Perth would be more than enough to keep the fussiest of Australian fight fans happy.
St-Pierre, who used to be the welterweight champion, defended the title nine times in a championship reign that went for six years.
Already considered one of the best to ever strap on the UFC gloves, St-Pierre strengthened his case earlier this month when he dethroned Michel Bisping for the middleweight title.
A fight against the first ever Australian UFC champion Robert Whittaker to unify the title would ensure the Perth event would be an easy sell out.
With the event taking place on February 11, it would be presumed that the headliner would be announced within the next few weeks.
As for the future of the UFC and its plans for Australia, Shaw solidified the UFC’s commitment to the country.
“We love coming to Sydney, Melbourne’s always a great destination, we haven’t been to Brisbane or the Gold Coast for a while. We haven’t been to Adelaide in two or three years so there are a few options for us.
“Definitely two events next year and we are looking forward to coming back”.
My earliest combat sports memory is watching David Tua knock people out with his left hook. I am extremely passionate about combat sports in Australia and my home country of New Zealand and I endeavour to grow the profile of martial arts and its athletes in both countries. Persistent Brazilian jiu-jitsu battler.