How many times has Dana White promised a UFC show in Cowboys Stadium? (Hint: It’s a lot)

In case you didn't hear the news late last night from Yahoo's Kevin Iole, the UFC is "likely" to book Jose Aldo vs. Conor…

By: Mookie Alexander | 8 years ago
How many times has Dana White promised a UFC show in Cowboys Stadium? (Hint: It’s a lot)
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

In case you didn’t hear the news late last night from Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, the UFC is “likely” to book Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor to headline a huge December show at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. This massive venue seats 80,000+ for Cowboys games and has played host to the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament, the inaugural college football playoff final, international soccer tournaments, and a couple of Manny Pacquiao boxing main events.

It’s been six years since “JerryWorld”, nicknamed after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, opened to the public, and the UFC has yet to hold an event there. They’ve done a stadium show in Toronto and Stockholm, but Dallas remains elusive. Maybe this is the year the streak is broken, because UFC president Dana White has been banging that “we’re going to hold an event at Cowboys Stadium” drum virtually the whole of the 2010s.

Without further ado, here’s a history of “almosts”, “gonna happens”, “likelys”, and a host of other quotes over the years regarding the impending first event at the site of “America’s Team”.

April 2010: Dana White – UFC looking to hold event at Cowboys Stadium

“We’re definitely, 100 percent going to Cowboys Stadium, no doubt about it. With our sport, people will fly in from all over the world.”

February 2011: Dana White – If the UFC is going to Cowboys Stadium, GSP vs. Silva is the fight that makes sense

“If there was ever a fight we’re going to do at Dallas Texas Stadium, this would be the fight,” White told about Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre.

October 2011: UFC looking to run Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Silva vs. Sonnen 2 could headline

“We’ve been talking to (Cowboys owner) Jerry Jones for a while about doing a fight there,” said White at the post-fight press conference. “It’s just got to be the right fight. We’re definitely going there. It’s just a matter of when.”

September 2012: Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Wants The UFC In Cowboys Stadium

“We want to have the big event,” Jones said Tuesday morning on his radio show on KRLD-FM 105.3. “That’s a goal and a dream of mine to have as a big of a sporting event when we can at Cowboys Stadium. I can assure you that I’m on the incentive plan to get them in there.”

September 2012: Dana White – Ultimate Fighting Championship megafight ‘close,’ probably at Cowboys Stadium

“I think we’re pretty close,” White said. “I mean if Georges St-Pierre beats (Carlos) Condit, that could be the next fight. If that fight happens, it will probably happen at Dallas, Tex., stadium.”

November 2012: Cowboys Stadium eyed as host to Silva-GSP

“If Georges St. Pierre against Anderson Silva were to happen, that’s the fight you could do at Cowboys Stadium,” White said during a media call to promote UFC 154 in Montreal. “We’ve been talking to (Cowboys Stadium officials) for a while. They’re pumped and ready whenever we can bring an event there. They’re ready for it.”

November 2012: From ESPN SportsNation chat with Dana White

January 2013 – Brock vs. Fedor almost happened at Cowboys Stadium

“I told you guys that story before, we were in deep talks with him we were that close to signing him. No [we were close to signing him] recently, right before his dad died…we were right there. When I was talking about doing that big Dallas Texas stadium show it was going to be Brock Lesnar versus Fedor. Remember when I met with him and I said it didn’t get well? It actually did go well. It went well and then Fedor’s dad died, he wanted to fight Fedor….Fedor was done, he said ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with my family.’ We were negotiating for months. And then after his dad died he said, ‘That’s it I’m done,’ or whatever and then Brock said, ‘I’m done too.'”

April 2013 – UFC super fight still a possibility in 2013 at Cowboys Stadium

“If we end up doing a super fight,” White said “Dallas Cowboys Stadium is one we’re looking at.”

May 2013 – Report: UFC hoping for fall event at Cowboys Stadium featuring Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva and a HW title fight

Nothing was said as far as when or where the match will take place. There is an idea floating around to try and put on the biggest show in company history at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas this fall. Several things would have to fall into place for this to happen, the key being Anderson Silva retaining the middleweight title against Chris Weidman, and not being banged up in the process. In addition, Jon Jones would have to be recovered from his own toe injury, and UFC would have to work out a deal to get the two of them to fight. Each has his own reasons, but neither has exactly clamored to fight the other. Having all those things fall into place makes this very much a longshot of actually happening.

The idea would be to have Silva vs. Jon Jones and Velasquez vs. Dos Santos at the stadium, in October, at the same time as the state fair of Texas, perhaps on 10/12 or 10/19. That much is known to be at least something talked about. With Madison Square Garden seeming more and more unlikely for November, this show could be billed as UFC 20th anniversary show, with the idea of trying to repeat the success of UFC 100.

July 2013 – Dana White considering Cowboys Stadium for Silva-Weidman II

White plans on calling Silva on Thursday to discuss a rematch. He says it will be the biggest fight in UFC history and is considering holding it at Cowboys Stadium in Texas, which has a capacity of 105,000.

November 2013: Dana White explains the challenges of bringing UFC to JerryWorld

“We want that stadium,” White told me today in a phone interview. “It has to be the right event and we will bring it there in a minute. I went to the Manny Pacquiao fight there and it was just awesome. And it was great to see it at that stadium. I’m sold.”

“The other thing about (North Texas) to do it there is that you have to have a Hispanic card. We did that in Houston with (Cain/Dos Santos) and we did great,” White said. “I’m sold on it. (Cowboys owner) Jerry Jones is sold on it.”

March 2014: UFC 171 in Dallas sold out; Dana White: AT&T Stadium is still on our radar

“They want us. We want to be there,” White said of the Cowboys’ home.

July 2015: UFC looking at holding Aldo vs. McGregor at AT&T Stadium in December confirmed with UFC president Dana White on Friday that this is in fact true, however, White said it would not happen on Dec. 5, rather another date in December, which he did not disclose. No plans have been finalized just yet.

I’m not saying Aldo vs. McGregor won’t happen at Cowboys Stadium. If it does, that’s really awesome news and it would be a great way to close out 2015. But before you get all giddy and start your matchmaking thought process for something that isn’t official yet, keep in mind that we’ve heard this story several times before.

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About the author
Mookie Alexander
Mookie Alexander

Mookie is a former Associate Editor for Bloody Elbow, leaving in August 2022 after ten years as a member of the staff. He's still lurking behind the scenes.

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