The UFC is expected to make its first appearance in Kansas City and the state of Missouri on April 15 at the Sprint Center.
After a long wait, MMA fans in Kansas City are about to get their wish. The UFC is expected to visit the heart of America for the first time in the promotion’s history.
The UFC has done numerous events throughout the United States and events in 19 other countries. Missouri is not in that group, though. Although this is new territory for the UFC, having never been to Kansas City, UFC President Dana White and the rest of the front office can expect an exuberant crowd.
Despite not having a lot of success with professional sports historically, Kansas City sports fans are typically known to be some of the best fans around. On September of 2014, Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs shattered the Guinness Book of World Records for loudest sports stadium in the world, recorded at 142.2 decibels. Allen Fieldhouse, which is 40 miles west of Kansas City and is the home of the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team in Lawrence, Kansas, is named as the loudest college basketball venue in the nation by many media outlets, including
Allen Fieldhouse, which is 40 miles west of Kansas City and is the home of the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team in Lawrence, Kansas, is named as the loudest college basketball venue in the nation by many media outlets, including NCAA.com.
In addition to earning honors for loud venues in two different sports, Kansas City hosted two all-star sporting events this decade. The 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game took place at Kauffman Stadium while Children’s Mercy Park hosted the 2013 Major League Soccer All-Star Game. Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, was also the site of six World Series games in 2014 and 2015 combined.
Kansas City has witnessed several MMA events prior to the UFC’s expected arrival in April. Bellator 16, 22, 26 and 32, all took place at the Power & Light District in Kansas City in 2010, just across the street from the Sprint Center. In 2011, Bellator also visited Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. WSOF 33 took place at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri, this past October.
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Invicta FC, which is known for sending some of its top fighters to the UFC, has hosted 14 of its 21 events in Kansas City, including the first eight. Megan Anderson, who fights out of the Kansas City area, recently became the Interim Invicta FC Featherweight Champion.
Similar to Invicta FC, Titan FC started as a small promotion in Kansas City, hosting a majority of their events in multiple venues in the Kansas City area before moving operations to Florida.
Shamrock FC, a regional promotion based out of St. Louis, performs shows in Kansas City every other month at Ameristar Casino. Former UFC veteran and Kansas City native Bobby Voelker is one of the most notable fighters for Shamrock FC as he went 5-0 during his run there while re-honing his skills. After rebounding at a local promotion, he hopes to return to the UFC.
Perhaps the most notable Kansas City native in the UFC is Tim Elliot, who won the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter and faced Demetrious Johnson for the UFC Flyweight Title this past December. Elliott is also a former Titan FC Flyweight Champion.
There could be several factors as to why the UFC decided it was finally time to give Kansas City its first UFC event. Invicta FC and Titan FC are featured on UFC Fight Pass, and plenty of their events have taken place in Kansas City as fans have shown strong interest in those events, as well as local shows, such as Shamrock FC.
With the UFC making its long overdue debut at the Sprint Center, MMA fans in Kansas City should be excited and will pack the house on April 15.