UFC’s David Allen talks upcoming UFC Dublin event, UFC 189, Reebok and more

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UFC’s Senior VP and General Manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) David Allen joined Andrew McGahon on the first ever episode of the ‘Severe MMA Podcast: Extra’.

David reiterated the promise of an Irish UFC event by the end of the year and said that they hope to make an announcement during International Fight Week in July.

“Dana and myself have made the promise that we are returning to Ireland this year. We’re dotting the eyes, crossing the T’s and waiting on the ink to dry from our lawyers, but we should be able to announce something, hopefully during International Fight Week, of when exactly we will be in Dublin but we are coming to Ireland in the back months of this year.”

Allen revealed that over 24% of all tickets for UFC 189: Aldo vs McGregor in Las Vegas in July were sold to Irish and UK residents and he is expecting even more Irish to turn up

“We’re doing an analysis on the tickets sales for the event itself on the night and in excess of 24% of all tickets sold have come from the UK and Ireland.

“We also know that there’s a huge percentage of sales in the US and I can guarantee that they will all be Irish Americans who are coming in from Boston, Chicago and everywhere else, flying in for the fight. I’m sure there will be a huge “Olé Olé” song fest going on at that event that night.”

Listen to the full interview below

International Fight Week will take place during the fight week of UFC 189 in Las Vegas. Among the new activities added this year is the new UFC Hall of Fame and the IMMAF amateur World Championships.

“[If you] like combat sports, in any shape or form, International Fight Week is the place to be. It’s going to be a festival.”

“For $60 you can get into the Expo and meet all the great fighters. We are going to releasing our new Hall of Fame and all the candidate that are stepping into the Hall of Fame, we’re gonna have great exhibitions on, there are some great fights that you can go to all week because the IMMAF are going to be holding their World Championships during International Fight Week with the final being on the Friday of the weigh-in.”

“It’s an exceptional opportunity that doesn’t come around every couple of weeks. To have an Irish guy fighting for the title in the fight capital of the world, it is going to be something that we will never forget and i can’t wait to get out there myself”

The Reebok deal has been in the news this week for the wrong reasons, but Allen believes that the deal will bring more authenticity to the sport

“When you implement change into anyone’s life it causes a little bit of concern and people need to get to understand what the bigger picture is and the bigger goal is. Every other sport in the world has a kit deal of some shape or form, whether it’s a Manchester United or a Manchester City who are running around with a “swoosh” from Nike on their chest.

“Those things have been in place for many, many years and it’s an accepted part of the sport. You sign for Man United, you walk into the changing room, you take the jersey off the hook, you put it on and out you run onto the pitch and nobody ever thinks about it. And all the money that Nike put to Manchester United, goes directly to Manchester United.

“With the exception of some costs, in terms of servicing our athletes, all the money goes directly back to the athlete but what we’re trying to do is bring the sport to a level that is similar to those other franchises that I’ve just talked about.”

“The other part of it is the investment from Reebok goes way beyond the dollars as well. The investment from Reebok is them setting up a whole business unit around the category of MMA, so what they will bring is authenticity to the sport, their expertise in marketing and developing the best apparel that anybody can wear, that will actually enhance the performance of the athlete.”

Garry Cook, the man Allen replaced, told us back in October 2014 in Stockholm that the UFC were looking to do a TUF Europe show and although David didn’t have any new details or dates for the European version of TUF he did stress the importance of the show

“If we’re putting on in excess of 40 events all around the world and these fighters are fighting 3 times a year and you’ve got 12-13 maybe 14 bouts on every card. You just have to multiply the numbers together to see we don’t have enough fighters so the ultimate goal of TUF is to find the next generation of great fighters and to give people the opportunity to enter into the UFC.”

Owner/Editor of SevereMMA.com. Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.