Miami Hosting UFC 287 is Big for Other Destination Cities

UFC 287

On April 8, UFC 287 will be hosted in the Miami-Dade Arena in Miami, Florida. The main event will showcase several notable fights, including the rising star Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Christian Rodriguez, Miami-native Jorge Masvidal vs. Gilbert Burns, and the middleweight title fight between defending champion Alex Pereira and challenger Israel Adesanya.

Pereira is the reigning champion after taking the belt from Adesanya back in November 2022. That fight went all the way to round 5, where Adesanya seemed poised to retain his title. He had been limiting Pereira’s sensational kickboxing and had imposed his own will enough to likely take the decision. But the challenger decided to empty the tank in the final round, unloading haymakers on Adesanya, who began to slump as his defense wore out. A stoppage was called and Pereira was crowned as champion of the middleweight division.

This upcoming card, headlined by the highly-anticipated rematch, is absolutely loaded from top to bottom and is sure to be one of 2023’s best. But there is another reason UFC 287 is so big.

The COVID Shutdown

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in 2020, the promotion decided to keep their events isolated. Most fights were held in the Apex center in Las Vegas with no fan attendance. Once the country and the world started opening back up, the UFC has, of course, taken their events to large stadiums in front of thousands of cheering fans.

But the promotion has still seemed hesitant in recent years to expand its list of potential destinations. Until now.

Big City Brawls for UFC 287

UFC president Dana White seemed ecstatic to announce the event would be coming to Miami, and UFC fans all over the country reflected that excitement. It’s the first time the promotion has returned to downtown Miami since 2003, making this a long-awaited return for Miami natives. The event also signals potential locations for big UFC events in the future.

Usually the UFC likes to stay in their comfort zone. Most fights are held in Las Vegas, the epicenter of sports betting and combat sports in America. Occasionally they take the trip over to Madison Square Garden in New York City or down south to Texas, but for the most part, it stays in Vegas. The UFC going to Miami means they’re opening the door to more varied locations, which is great news for UFC fans all over the country.

Perhaps the UFC could take fights to the blue-collar port city of Boston, a city built for big fights. The beaches of Los Angeles are quite used to spectacle, so perhaps the promotion could head there. Maybe fights could head to cities that have never hosted big UFC main events, like Atlanta or Washington D.C. Could Chicago be seeing a return soon?

All of these locations and more seem like real possibilities with the UFC finally taking the trip down to Miami. If the UFC does decide to bring big main events to these cities, they are sure to be massive spectacles where fans will absolutely show out in hopes of an eventual return.


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