It’s round, it’s big and it’s in the middle of the fight capital of the United States: Las Vegas. Located at the Venesian Resort, the Sphere has only been open since late September of this year, but its potential has already caught the eye of boxing and MMA promoters alike.
Dana White wants the UFC to be the first
With a capacity of 18,600 seats, the Sphere could be quite the venue for holding major sporting events, such as pay-per-view UFC cards or boxing title fights featuring the world’s biggest stars. For those reasons, it is no wonder that one such promoter interested in taking full advantage of what the venue has to offer is Dana White, who believe the UFC is the only promotion that would know how to properly work the Sphere properly.
“So if The Sphere is smart, they don’t let anybody go in there until we go in there to do a live event,” White said at the post-fight press conference for Contender Series Season 7, Week 10 (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “The first live transmission from there should be us. And that’s why I’m saying September, obviously, because I want it for Independence Day, right? But it’ll take that long for us to really work this thing out and figure it out.
“Plus, the other thing is I will spend the money to make it, right? Boxing is gonna f-ck around with them on the tickets, and they don’t have the money to do it. None of those bums got the money to do it. I’ll do it, and boxing, it will be an absolute f-cking nightmare for The Sphere.”
Do other promotions have the money to use the Sphere?
Not only does Dana White believe the UFC to be the single promotion that would do the Sphere’s justice, he also took the opportunity to criticize boxing legend turned promoter Oscar De La Hoya, should the ‘Golden Boy’ ever try put on a show at the new venue. For the UFC president, other promotions simply lack the money to do it the right way.
“Good luck to him,” White said of De La Hoya “What are they gonna do? Oscar gonna put up the money, Bob gonna put up the money? Who’s gonna put up the money for both of them? I can’t wait to see it. Do you think they’re both gonna put up the money? You think they’re gonna pay to program The Sphere and put on an in-house show?
“[It costs] sh-tloads of money. Hundreds of thousands to $1 million dollars. Maybe more. How do you get the money? You go in there because you want to put on the baddest motherf-cking live sporting event anybody’s ever seen. I’m obsessed. Nobody will do it better than we will. That’s a fact. I don’t care what they say, and listen, if boxing can go in there, and they can put on the event, and they can do it, more power to him.”
Bloody Elbow’s John S. Nash had a pithy tweet that explains part of why the UFC has so much money:
Dana White promises legendary UFC show at the Sphere
To sum up, there is really no other word to say how much Dana White is determined to put on a legendary show at the Sphere than the one the man himself used: obsessed. According to his words, the day the UFC puts on a show at the venue, it’s going to be the greatest one the world has ever seen.
“I’ve been talking to MSG every day since [I went to the venue],” he said. “The experience was amazing. Have you guys gone yet? It’s special. It’s incredible. So, yes, I have been torturing them since I left on Saturday. I literally had my secretary call and make a Zoom meeting with them again today.
“These boxing guys are calling them up going, ‘oh, we wanna do a fight,’ those f-cking guys. They’re not gonna spend the money to put a f-cking show on in there. Those guys can’t even do f-cking replays, for Christ’s sake. They think they’re going to f-cking put on an event at The Sphere.”
“I’m just going to tell you right now, I will put on the greatest live combat sports event anybody has ever seen at The Sphere in September for Mexican Independence Day, I f-cking guarantee it,” he added later. “So I’m so in on this, it’s not even funny.”
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