Back in September 2014 I posted an article on here that the UFC would be coming to Scotland this year following Dana White’s response to a tweet I sent. The news that the UFC may finally be coming to Scottish shores quickly spread far and wide as the excitement amongst Scottish fight fans hit fever pitch. Some 5 months later the same article is still sitting firmly top of MMA-Freak’s most popular posts, in fact it has become our most viewed article ever! The UFC have now confirmed the event will take place in Glasgow’s SSE Hydro arena on Saturday July 18th and knowing Scotland’s appetite for this event I am convinced this would be one of the fastest selling card’s in UFC history.
Below is a selection of my top links to the UFC and Scotland:
6) Conor McGregor
Ok we all know Conor was born in Dublin, Ireland and probably even bleeds green blood but McGregor is actually a Scottish surname and the UFC’s featherweight contender has often mentioned his families Scottish bloodline. The Notorious has even tweeted that his ancestors stood shoulder to shoulder on the battlefields with Scotland’s most famous warrior, William Wallace.
5) Glasgow’s SSE Hydro
Opened in 2013 at a cost of £125m, Glasgow’s newest purpose built area is already the second busiest venue in the world, even ranking higher than Madison Square Garden in New York,and with a capacity of 13,000 the SSE Hydro is the perfect host for a UFC event.
4) Robert Whiteford
The Featherweight from Armadale, West Lothian, will forever hold the accolade as the first Scottish fighter signed by the UFC. A well rounded fighter with an impressive 11-2 record (1-1 in the UFC). Robert would certainly revel in the opportunity to show Scotland and the UFC just what he can do.
3) Campbell McLaren
Born in Cowie, Stirlingshire Campbell was Co-Creator of The UFC along with Rorion Gracie and Art Davie. The UFC was eventually bought by the Fertitta brothers and with the sheer determination of Dana White the UFC is now a worldwide brand worth an estimated $3.5billion. Campbell’s new project is ‘Combate Americas’ whereby the idea is to pitch Hispanic brawlers against each other in a reality TV set–up. Controversial idea this maybe, but so was the UFC and look how that turned out.
2) Gracie family
Gracie is actually a traditional Scottish surname and BJJ’s legendary Gracie family descended from George Gracie, a Scotsman from an area in the South West of Scotland called Dumfries. George emigrated to Brazil in 1826 when he was in his mid-twenties and is the great grandfather of BJJ founders Carlos and Helio Gracie. Rorion Gracie was of course instrumental in creating the UFC and is the son of BJJ founder Helio Gracie. It seems fairly certain the UFC will hold their first event in Glasgow at some point in 2015 and it would be fitting if there was a member of the Gracie family on the card. George would be proud of that I’m sure.
1) Joanne Calderwood
Fighting out of Glasgow’s Griphouse gym, the undefeated star of The Ultimate Fighter season 20 is widely regarded as the UK’s best hope of winning UFC gold. Quite an accolade considering the huge array of talent the UK has to offer. The Muay Thai specialist has phenomenal stand up, possibly the best in the division, and with an ever improving ground game there is no reason why Joanne can’t be the UK’s first UFC champion. An impressive performance in Scotland would certainly lift the #6 ranked strawweight closer to a title fight.