UFCJunkie.com did some superb digging into what venue will be hosting UFC 71 when it rolls into town on May 26th. The two rumored venues are MGM Grand Garden Arena or the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Here is what they turned up:
“As of now…the location isnâ€™t exactly known. The UFC originally booked the MGM Grand, she said, probably because they were expecting a Liddell vs. (PRIDE fighter) Wanderlei Silva main event, which would have been a huge draw. That bout now seems unlikely. Instead, if Liddell faces a fighter with a little less clout, the event could be moved to Mandalay Bay, which seats less fans but provides a more â€œcozy and intimateâ€? setting, she said.
Because both properties are owned by the same company (MGM Mirage), jumping from one venue to the other wonâ€™t be a major headache.
Quite simply: if Liddell gets a major opponent, expect to see event held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. If the opponent isnâ€™t a huge name, the event will probably find its way to Mandalay Bay. However, with the currently rumored match of Ortiz vs. Evans, that too could push the event to the bigger venue”
Basically the event sort-of hinges on Liddell’s opponent but with this event scheduled to be a dual main event it would be hard to imagine the UFC choosing the smaller Mandalay Bay Events Center over the larger MGM Grand. With Liddell’s opponent still up in the air so is the arena until his opponent is finally known.
Here’s the rumored card for the May event:
Chuck Liddell vs. TBD
Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans
Karo Parisyan vs. Josh Burkman
Eric Schafer vs. Sean Salmon
Chris Leben vs. Kalib Starnes