The UFC's schedule of events in 2014 will be larger than ever before—but only slightly.
UFC President Dana White appeared on Fox Sports Live Wednesday night to detail his promotion's plans for the next calendar year. Starting in January, the UFC will head to Chicago's United Center for the third consecutive year. And for the third consecutive year, the Chicago event will be aired live on the Fox network.
The promotion typically runs an event on Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas; coupled with all of the out-of-town gamblers who travel to Sin City to drop everything from $10 to a few hundred thousand dollars on the Big Game, it makes for one of Vegas' largest tourist events of the year.
But this year, things are different.
The UFC will partner with Fox—the official home for the Super Bowl—and hold a pay-per-view event at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. the night before.
The Super Bowl takes place in New Jersey, with many celebrity-studded events instead held in New York City due to high media congestion and visibility. But since mixed martial arts is still somehow outlawed in that state, the UFC will do what it typically does and cross the river into New Jersey, where Saturday night is still all right for fighting.
To make up for the lack of a Super Bowl weekend event, the UFC will return to Las Vegas on Feb. 22. The card will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. No fights have been announced.
In 2013, the UFC will hold a total of 33 events, up from 32 in 2012. For a bit of perspective, the promotion was running just 20 events in 2009; now, that seems like ages ago. Of the 35 events currently scheduled for 2014, 12 of them will be regular Fight Night events on Fox Sports 1, with two more added to the list as Ultimate Fighter Finale cards.
The UFC's 2014 schedule also has a heavy dose of international flavor, with six events currently planned for Europe and anywhere from seven to 13 scheduled for Brazil (depending on who you talk to). It will also make its first foray into Singapore in January.