UFC president Dana White doesn’t think it will take the promotion very long to return to New Mexico after tonight’s UFC Fight Night 42 event goes down from Albuquerque.
White, during an interview earlier this week with the Albuquerque Journal, stated his feelings regarding the city and his thoughts on the lineup they have put together.
“Albuquerque’s one of those towns that I have a lot of respect for when it comes to combat sports,” he said. “When you think of the big fight towns, you always think of Boston, Philadelphia, Vegas, Atlantic City, and believe it or not, Albuquerque, New Mexico is one of those places for me.”
The card features former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson meeting Rustam Khabilov in the main event. That, though, is far from the only contest that has White excited.
“This card is awesome,” he stated. “How about Diego Sanchez vs. Ross Pearson? How about John Moraga vs. John Dodson, another sick fight. The (Rafael) dos Anjos (vs. Jason High) fight. Erik Perez-Bryan Caraway.
“It’s a stacked card, top to bottom.”
Sanchez, a native of New Mexico, will receive a hero’s welcome when he enters the Octagon. The former Ultimate Fighter winner is one of the main reasons Albuquerque caught the eye of the MMA world, according to White.
“Pretty much, Diego’s stint on The Ultimate Fighter is what really kicked this thing off, then Keith Jardine followed that up,” White said. “Diego put Jackson’s on the map and put Albuquerque on the map as far as mixed martial arts goes.
“Albuquerque’s not stranger to combat sports. If you look back to the days with the Pit, (Johnny) Tapia, it’s always been a huge combat sports town.”
FightLine will be providing complete coverage of the entire card, including play-by-play, later this evening.