Since the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first event was held in Denver’s McNichols Sports Arena back in 1993, the UFC has held events all over the world. Here is a look at some of the most memorable venues in MMA history.

The Concert Arena – United Arab Emirates

This venue in Abu Dhabi is memorable for being one of the shortest-lived. It was constructed especially for UFC 112: Invincible in 2010 as a temporary arena. The Concert Arena was torn down the following week. Situated in the world’s biggest theme park, Ferrari World, the venue had a capacity of 11,000. So, there were plenty of fans cheering on lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, and heavyweight fights throughout the tournament. The most memorable matches from the competition were Frankie Edgar’s defeat of BJ Penn in a lightweight title bout, and champion Anderson Silva defending his title in a middleweight fight against Demian Maia.

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Mandalay Bay Events Center – USA

This 12,000-seat indoor arena is located on the famous Las Vegas Strip. It opened in 1999 and has hosted dozens of UFC events over the years, beginning with UFC 33: Victory in Vegas in 2001. It is most memorable in the world of MMA for three fights:

  • Georges St. Pierre’s defeat of Matt Hughes in an interim welterweight title bout at UFC 79.
  • Forrest Griffin’s win against champion Quinton Jackson in a light heavyweight title fight at UFC 86.
  • Brock Lesnar defeating Frank Mir in a heavyweight title at UFC 100.

The events center at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino has famously held a number of other sports events. It is particularly well known for hosting the high-profile boxing match of 2011 known as Attack & Conquer, in which Amir Khan knocked out Zab Judah Light. The arena is also famous for being the location of the final fight in the 2006 movie Rocky Balboa.

O2 Arena – England

London’s O2 Arena is well known for hosting sports events, music concerts, and a variety of other entertainment and shows. In MMA history, it is most notable for the UFC 75: Champion vs. Champion of 2007, in which Quinton Jackson defeated Dab Henderson in a lightweight unification. At the time, the match achieved the highest recorded ratings for any MMA televised event in North America. It drew a total of 4.7 million viewers. The O2 Arena has held several other UFC events over the years, including UFC 85, 95, and 120.

Bell Centre – Canada

Since the Bell Centre in Montreal opened in 1996, it has consistently been one of the busiest arenas on the planet. It has hosted a number of sports and non-sporting events over the decades. It hosted the first UFC event in Canada, UFC 83, in 2008, in which welterweight champion Matt Sera and Montreal local Georges St. Pierre fought each other in a hotly anticipated rematch. St. Pierre defeated his opponent with a technical knockout via knees to the body at the 4:45 minute mark.

UFC 83 broke two records. The first was for the fastest sellout, with public tickets going within one minute of being available. The second record was for the highest attendance of a UFC event ever, with 21,930 fans lining the arena, although other MMA events have since broken that record. The Bell Centre has hosted several other UFC events over the years. One other memorable bout featured Georges St. Pierre again when he defeated Josh Koscheck in a welterweight title fight at UFC 124.



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