MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Back-to-back UFC Events Planned For International Fight Week

B.J. Penn This summer, the UFC will be doing a first. As has become tradition over the last few years, the promotion will hold International Fight Week during the first week of July in Las Vegas, and the crown jewel will be UFC 175, which takes place July 5. But unlike in past years, when there was the one PPV event to cap off the week, this year a wrinkle has been added as the UFC confirmed this week that the next day, on July 6, the promotion will also hold the TUF 19 Finale in Las Vegas as well. That means the UFC will have back-to-back cards in the same city and same venue on both nights, which is a first in the promotion’s history. Previously, the UFC has held back-to-back cards twice, in June 2012 when UFC on FX 4 was followed up the next night by UFC 147, and in December 2012 when the TUF Smashes Finale was followed the next day by the TUF 16 Finale. But in both cases, the cards were in different parts of the world, meaning the UFC 175/TUF 19 Finale combo that fans are getting this summer is truly a first for the promotion. There are no fights confirmed for either UFC 175 or the TUF 19 Finale yet, but if I had to guess, UFC 175 will be headlined by Ronda Rousey vs. another top female bantamweight contender (Cat Zingano or Alexis Davis are the most likely), and the TUF 19 Finale will be headlined by the coaches’ fight between Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn. But those are just guesses by me at this point, and hopefully in the coming months we get a better idea as to what the UFC is thinking for headliners for these cards. But either way, I have a feeling both cards will get big-name headliners. So far in 2014, the UFC has announced back-to-back cards in the same city on consecutive nights, as well as multiple cards taking place on the same day in different parts of the world. It’s a lot to take in, but as the UFC continues to grow and make its mark all over the globe, I would expect these kinds of things to keep happening, so fans better get used to it. Regardless, International Fight Week is always fun for fans, and considering the last two years featured memorable matchups between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen and Silva and Chris Weidman, I expect this year’s incarnation to be even more memorable and as someone who loves the sport, I’m excited for the first week of July. And I know I’m not alone there.

Written by Adam Martin.

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