UFC heading back to New Zealand in late February

The UFC will return to New Zealand in the new year for the first time since mid-2017.

A “Fight Night” event is planned for late February in Auckland, the country’s most populous city, UFC officials recently told the New Zealand Herald following an initial report from Neil Rooke.

UFC Auckland is expected to take place Feb. 22 (Sunday, Feb. 23 locally) at Spark Arena in Auckland. The card is likely to stream on ESPN+. No bouts have been announced for the event.

The event will be the third time the UFC has set up shop in New Zealand. UFC Fight Night 43 took place in the same venue (when it was called Vector Arena) in June 2014. And in June 2017, UFC Fight Night 110, headlined by a heavyweight fight between Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis, went down in the building.

Building an event with fighters from the region is seldom an issue for the UFC. The promotion has several standout fighters on its roster who are from New Zealand or nearby Australia.

Most notable right now is middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who trains in New Zealand with Dan Hooker and Kai Kara-France. Former middleweight champ Robert Whittaker, who lost his title to Adesanya, is from Australia.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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