There has been a lot of speculation that the UFC will do an event in Dallas or Houston in 2007. My guess, is that both will have an event by 2008 because Texas has one of the largest MMA fanbases in the country.
Here is an article about the IFL coming to Houston:
Team MMA coming to town
By STEVE SIEVERT
For The Chronicle
Nov. 29, 2006, 12:13AM
The International Fight League beat the Ultimate Fighting Championship to the punch.
The IFL will be the first organization to bring a major professional mixed martial arts event to Houston when it hosts an 11-fight card Feb. 2 at Reliant Arena.
"Texas is one of the hotbeds for this sport," said IFL co-founder and commissioner Kurt Otto, who launched mixed martial arts' first team-based promotion last year. "Our goal is to go to as many arenas that most large organizations would not go to try to expose as many people as possible to our team format in MMA, which has not been done before."
The more established UFC has expressed interest in bringing its popular brand of mixed martial arts to Texas but has yet to make a move.
That opened the door for the IFL to come to Houston first, with a show that will feature four teams and a "super fight" between former UFC welterweight champion Carlos Newton and Matt Lindland.
The matchups will feature the Anacondas, coached by Bas Rutten, facing the Silverbacks, guided by Pat Miletich.
The second team battle will have the Antonio Inoki-coached Sabres taking on the Scorpions, coached by Don Frye.
The IFL will have its first full season in 2007 with a dozen teams. Another six teams will be added over the course of the year..
In the IFL format, teams compete with five fighters in five weight classes. The team that wins three out of five matches wins. The top teams advance to the finals in Los Angeles next year.
The bouts are held in an oversized five-rope boxing
ring, with three four-minute rounds.
For those that didn't know, UFC 69 is coming to the Toyota Center in Houston on April 7th. The card overall has solid matchups, but not many big names. They should have added another big name fight IMO. My guess is that they are making this a smaller event because Houston has such a big MMA fanbase that this event's gate (ticket sales) will do well regardless.
Georges St. Pierre (Champion) vs Matt Serra
Diego Sanchez Vs. Josh Koscheck (winner should be #1 contender for WW title after Hughes fights GSP)
Yushin Okami Vs. Mike Swick (winner should be #1 contender for MW title, after Marquardt fights Silva)
Roger Huerta Vs. Leonard Garcia
Brad Imes Vs. Heath Herring
Alan Belcher Vs. Kendall Grove
Full card here
Official UFC 69 Site
The UFC put several hispanic fighters on this card to appeal to that demographic. They also put the "Texas Crazy Horse" Heath Herring on the card to appeal to the Texas fans. He's fighting a guy (brad imes) that wears a cowboy hat. Perhaps that is just a coincidence though.
While we will have to wait some time for the UFC to come to Dallas (definitely by 2008 IMO), we do have an MMA card coming to the AAC this Friday. They were handing out flyers for this at Hooters (where I watched UFC 68), and also at the De La Hoya/Mayweather press conference, which took place at Victory Plaza last week.
The card will mainly feature unknown fighters (probably a bunch of locals). Local MMA legend Guy Mezger is helping to organize it. The main event does feature Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo, who was once considered one of the top fighters in the world. He has wins over top fighters like Arlovski and Josh Barnett). Most of his losses have come to top fighters including 2 losses to current UFC HW Champion Randy Couture.
Rizzo will be fighting Justin Eliers, who hasn't done a whole lot of note. He did lose 3 straight fights in the UFC, but has now won 7 fights in a row for what that's worth.
Regardless, it should be a fun night of fights. The card features 10 fights.
Later than expected but the UFC is coming to Dallas on September 19, 2009 for UFC 103 (American Airlines Center). The event will be headlined by a rematch between former UFC MW Champion Rich Franklin and former PRIDE MW/WW Champion Dan Henderson.
Official Event Card (will continue to be updated)
Event Wikipedia Entry (with more details)
The main event of this fight has been changed to Rich Franklin vs Vitor Belfort. This is partially because many fans weren't keen on a Henderson/Franklin rematch that meant nothing.
This should be a great fight, and overall the card looks pretty good...better than I expected.
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