The UFC is returning to New Zealand with sources confirming a fight night card for Auckland on February 23. The New Zealand Herald was the first to report the news.
The news follows a remarkable 2019 for New Zealand fighters which saw the country produce its first UFC champion.
Dan Hooker is the likely frontrunner to headline the card with Israel Adesanya’s champion status meaning he will be reserved for pay-per-view events. At UFC 243 in Melbourne this past October, Dan Hooker called out former title challenger Dustin Poirier to fight on a potential Auckland card.
It will be the first time the UFC has gone to Auckland since June of 2017 where Mark Hunt defeated Derrick Lewis in the main event. The promotion first went to the country in 2014 when James Te Huna fought Nate Marquardt in the headliner.
Back then, Dan Hooker was the only homegrown New Zealand talent to feature at the event. With the rise of City Kickboxing since then, there will be a host of New Zealand talent ready and able to pack out the card.
More details will be announced as they become known.