For just the second time in its 25-year history, the UFC will stage a fight card in the nation’s capital.
The mixed-martial arts company will host its “UFC Fight Night on ESPN” show Dec. 7 at Capital One Arena. The date was announced Saturday night during the UFC 239 pay-per-view broadcast, before the night’s main event featuring Jon Jones and Thiago Santos. No bouts for the December show have been set, and the full fight card will be announced at a later date.
UFC has staged more than 480 events around the world but has only come to Washington once. In October 2011, an announced crowd of 9,380 showed up at what was then called Verizon Center to see Dominick Cruz’s win over Demetrious Johnson. The company has also held three events in Virginia’s Fairfax County, most recently in 2015.
It will be the seventh “UFC on ESPN” card. UFC and the cable sports giant struck a five-year deal last year, reportedly worth $1.5 billion. The nationally televised show debuted on the network in February with Cain Velasquez’s technical knockout win over Francis Ngannou.
The December card in Washington will take place one week before UFC 245, which still lacks a headliner and is scheduled for Las Vegas.