UFC President Dana White recently confirmed that the UFC is headed back to New Jersey before the end of the year for the first time since 2005.
We passed along a similar report back in February. However, at that time the timeframe was a little more ambiguous — so too was the possible venue.
The Continental Airlines Arena and somewhere on the Atlantic City strip appeared to be the logical and likely destinations.
Well, CBSSportsline.com is reporting that the Prudential Center — the new downtown arena currently under construction in Newark (slated for completion early this fall) — might get the nod sometime in November.
Here's the snip:
"A deal is close to being finalized that would bring the UFC to Newark, N.J., for an event in November. The card would be held at the new arena being built for the New Jersey Devils of the NHL."
Having roots in the Garden State, as well as somewhat of an extremely small hand in the approval process of getting the arena built, this comes as a personal pleasure.
Right before I bolted for the sunny shores of Florida, I worked for a public relations firm headquartered in Newark that was responsible for convincing the city and state officials, as well as residents, to build the arena.
It was an uphill climb and it often seemed like it would never become a reality.
When ground was finally broken two years ago on the project, it was great to know that my New Jersey Devils would have a new roof to play under. And, that I'd be able to literally walk down the street and snag a seat anytime I wanted.
Now, the UFC is on the verge of invading the new building and 18,000 New Jersey fans will get to enjoy the show.
It just sucks I'm no longer one of them.
(By the way the CBSSportsline.com article referenced in this post has a fantastic write up of the new UFC light heavyweight division -- the bit about New Jersey was just a small news item. Check out the entire article when you have some time.)