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UFC looking to return to Detroit

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is looking to return to the state of Michigan for the first time in 13 years, according to a published report in the Detroit Free Press.

UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner mentioned both the Joe Louis Arena and the Palace in Auburn Hills as possible hosting sites for a UFC card sometime in 2009.

The last time the UFC ventured into the Motor City was for UFC 9, which was held at the Cobo Arena in May of 1996. This event was the first event held by the UFC that did not feature a tournament style card. The main event was a super fight between UFC Hall of Famers Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock.

The event was almost canceled at the last minute due to a legal battle that forced the UFC to disallow closed fists. The referee of the night John McCarthy had little luck in enforcing the rule even though the fighters were warned that they faced possible arrest and prosecution. Thankfully no fighters were arrested but left with a bad taste in its mouth the UFC has not been back since despite Detroit being one of the bigger markets in the United States.

The main event which was won by Severn via split decision has been roundly criticized as one of the worst UFC fights of all time as both fighters circled each other for 30 minutes inflicting very little damage. Ratner stated that they were waiting to get all of the rules in place before making any final decisions. He also said that Detroit is one of the leading cities in pay-per-view buys and ratings from their Spike TV cards.

  • Joker10 says:

    that’s great news for mma fans in ontario since this is well within driving distance….let’s hope this happens

  • MMASwami says:

    Dana White said in an interview a few days ago that they had no virtually zero interest in going to Detroit because of the state of the auto industry and how shitty the economy was.

  • KTru says:

    That may be true Swami, but as being a resident in the Detroit suburbs, They would sell out Joe Louis Arena in a heartbeat.
    For some reason, Michiganders always come up with money and spend it without an issue to show the support for something they have passion in.
    Take the Lions for instance, a horrible organization with unbelievable fan support. I would say not to have the UFC come here on a regular basis, but once in a great while will do them good.

  • DumbOut says:


  • Davey D says:

    Ladies and Gentleman…It is TIIIIIIMMEE!!!!!

    Seriously, to me, this is fantastic news. However, just like Fedor Emelianenko coming to the UFC…the UFC coming back to Detroit City is something I’ll need to see to believe. I went to my first live UFC event down in Columbus, Ohio two weeks ago and had an absolute blast!!! If had HALF the fun in my own City as I had in C-Bus for an event like this. I would be very satisfied.

    If you have never been to a UFC event, get yourself to one as soon as possible. Your whole weekend will be one of the best you’ve eva’ had.

    I really hope the Lawmaker’s in Michigan will realize just how well an event like the UFC will do for Detroit. I would hold said Event at the Joe Louis Arena (where the Red Wings play). The Palace is about 30-45 miutes away (depending how you drive) from Detroit so it isn’t my hope to see that happen. I hope Mark Ratner can provide as much useful information to whom it may concern in Michigan just as he did for the State of New York. Cheers!!!

  • PlagueAngel says:

    Great news, I think the UFC needs to come to these healthy and safe cities to promote its fighting. We call know how lovely the bowls of the city can look this time of year. The way dried up blood and vomit mix with the morning frost on a dirty sidewalk make me want to come to this event. Come on people, Detroit is one of Americas worst cities and should be avoided at all costs!

  • The Chairman says:

    This is a genius money-saving idea. Instead of having to pay exorbitant fees to rent out stadiums and arenas, they can just hold the event in one of the thousands of abandoned houses or office buildings.

  • Mark Robbins says:

    The Palace of Auburn Hills hosts great Amateur events now at a fraction of the cost of attending a U.F.C. show. With this economy that our state is in currently, they should do what Jay Leno is doing by providing a free show for our current 12% unemployement rate. Riiiiiight, they are in it to fleece our pocket books…..No thanks U.F.C! I’ll stick to the great shows the Palace are now providing at a reasonable fee.

  • king mah mah says:

    I hope this is true. I’ve been wanting to attend a UFC event for a long time, but never wanted to drive a long way to do it. Joe Louis would be ok, but I think the seeting at the Palace is a little better. Either way, if they come to Detroit, I will attend.

    @ PlagueAngel- Dude that’s ridiculous. Every city has problems, but don’t try to paint Detroit as some kind of death trap. You don’t see dried up blood and vomit all over the sidewalks and streets. Sure you might get the occasional bum begging for money, but I’ve never felt like I was in danger in downtown Detroit.

    Plus the last time I checked Las Vegas wasn’t exactly crime free. I don’t see you saying anything about events being held there. If you don’t want to come to Detroit then don’t. But don’t try and ruin everyone else’s excitement.

  • king mah mah says:


  • Ryan Seacrest says:

    Yeah King Mah Mah I agree with ya 100%. They use to hold shows in Atlantic City and that place…well the last time I was there was a Shit Hole. Yeah there are areas in Detroit that are ghetto but what city does not have one.

    If it comes to the JLA or the Palace I will be there!!!

  • king mah mah says:

    Hell Yeah Seacrest, I knew you’d back me up on that one!

  • Mark Robbins says:

    Sorry Gentlemen, Detroit is a crap hole. Just visit I owned a restaurant/nightclub in Dowtown Detroit for years….you want stories? I’ll provide them-no charge. I will stick with The Palace for the MMA shows that are now being presented. Inexpensive, great matchups, safe environment and no beggers. The next show at the Palace is April 18, 2009 with Special Guest Ken Shamrock (no, he’s ot fighting).

  • Ryan Seacrest says:

    Mark Robbins Please read my post again,

    If it comes to the JLA or the Palace I will be there!!! Well as long as its closed fist fighting. If I wanted to see two dudes stand in the ring and slap each other I would go and see Brock Lesnar fight the Undertaker

  • JBAR says:

    the downtown area of Detroit was not that bad when I was there (2005-2007) and there were alot of improvments made prior to the superbowl. I hope you guys get a great show at JLA or the Palace.

  • KYLE519 says:

    Whats up fellaz I’m a HUGE MMA fan from Windsor Ontario I have lot of friends that fight in the sport ….I’ve also been to colubus ohio this year and last year and i’ve been to3 las vegas events there the fucken best and if it did go to detroit Windsor would be there as well as the whole Sarnia crossing area Ontario has a huge MMA fan base…..Or should I say CANADA it self loves the MMA ..I hope this happens and if it does I would only guess that it would sell out large like the bell Canada centre ……….

    Hey that’s just my thoughts not your so peace out my fellow MMA fans ………..

  • KYLE519 says:


  • Mark Robbins says:

    I just read a piece that Ken Shamrock is doing a MMA training seminar in Waterford, Michigan on Friday, April 17, a day before the MMA show at the Palace. The Fight Club Proving Grounds. $25.00 per person. I will be there.


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