Strikeforce may be shuttering its doors for good following its Jan. 12 event in Oklahoma, but MMA is returning to the promotion’s home arena, the HP Pavilion, this spring.
There have been no bouts revealed for the UFC on Fox 7 event yet, but the promotion and Fox officials had already confirmed the date for the event when it announced the dates for all four UFC on Fox events in 2013.
UFC on Fox 6 takes place Jan. 26 in Chicago. UFC on Fox 8 is slated for July 27 and UFC on Fox 9 is set for Dec. 14, both with locations and venues to be determined.
The UFC’s most recent trip to the HP Pavilion was for UFC on Fuel TV 4 in July, which drew just 4,250 fans for a live gate of $163,495. That’s far below expectations for most UFC events, but UFC president Dana White explained it off as a made for TV event during the middle of the week.
“We’re gonna have days that are in the middle of the week. These are TV fights,” said White at the post-fight press conference.
“It was a great event here tonight. It was for Fuel. On a Wednesday in the middle of the day to do a $163,000 gate is good.”
Expectations for UFC on Fox 7 will be much higher. While the Fox events are also a feature of the promotion’s television deal with the Fox family of networks, UFC on Fox events typically feature pay-per-view or near pay-per-view types of fight cards… and price tags.
The recent UFC on Fox 5, which featured UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson defending against Nate Diaz, drew 14,412 fans for a live gate of $1.5 million.
That is much more in line with what the UFC will expect for UFC on Fox 7.
Despite the lack of attendance and gate for UFC on Fuel TV 4, White believes there is an audience in San Jose.
“This market does surprise me a little. There’s a lot of money in this market,” he said following UFC on Fuel TV 4, explaining that an acquaintance of his at Apple wrote it off to it being a “computer geek area.”
“I don’t know,” said White, adding, “We’re gonna keep coming here. It’s not gonna keep us away from here.”
True to his word, the UFC will be back at the HP Pavilion in April.
The possibility of a return to the HP Pavilion was first reported by MMAJunkie.com.