It's still one year out, but Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has already set a date for its landmark 200th event, which will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 9, 2016, inside the brand new MGM-AEG Arena just west of the existing venue that currently hosts most mixed martial arts (MMA) events.
UFC President Dana White made the announcement at the UFC Fan Expo Friday afternoon (July 10, 2015), telling MMAjunkie.com that the arena is a big deal for all involved.
"It's a game changer for everybody," he said. "For the fans, for the people that are putting on the shows, and obviously for the city. The one thing this town needed really bad was a state-of-the-art arena."
The finished facility will hold 20,000 visitors for MMA and boxing events, as well as concerts. That's a step up from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which opened in 1993 with a capacity of a little less than 17,000 spectators, as well as its Mandalay Bay Events Center that seats 12,000.
The new venue sits just behind the New York-New York casino.
As for UFC 200, the event is expected to be the biggest in company history as Zuffa will no doubt attempt to outdo its famously successful UFC 100, which featured superstars like Georges St-Pierre and Brock Lesnar (and even Jon Jones, though nobody knew him back then). The July 11, 2009, event is the most bought UFC pay-per-view (PPV) of all time with 1.6 million subscribers, while the gate of 10,871 at Mandalay Bay Events Center brought in $5.1 million.
UFC 200 will be the cornerstone of UFC's next International Fight Week, and the festivities will include the popular annual UFC Fan Expo.
This year's "International Fight Week" also promises to smash attendance records and possibly PPV buy rates, too, as UFC 189 anchors the venue with Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes in the main event.
For more on UFC 200 stay tuned to the upcoming UFC events section of MMAmania.com.