Simon Greene looks forward to the next big UFC event to hit Las Vegas – UFC 191: Johnson Versus Dodson at the MGM Garden Arena on Sept 5th.
The MGM Garden Arena at the legendary MGM Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has become synonymous with the UFC over the last 10 years, holding some of the biggest fights the sport has seen. Recently the organization announced that they would be heading back for UFC 191 with Demetrious Johnson headlining the card against John Dodson for the Flyweight title.
With many naysayers questioning whether the dynamic Johnson has the pulling power to headline pay-per-view events, it’s still befuddling why the Flyweight champion doesn’t have the mainstream recognition of many of the other UFC champions. But with what could be his most competitive title defence yet against the ever-improving Dodson, UFC 191 could finally see Johnson accepted by the casual MMA fans.
It’s no doubt Johnson already has the appreciation of hardcore MMA fans but this matchup against the explosive striking of Dodson has the potential to be one of the fights of the year. And although many experts will predict low PPV numbers and viewing figures the MGM will still be doing its utmost to fill the revered Garden Arena.
The Garden Arena has been a huge magnet for the MGM Casino & Resort in Las Vegas for many years, and its affiliation with the UFC has only increased its global reach and brand recognition. The UFC uses the MGM as its go-to arena for its biggest shows like the recently concluded UFC 189 even if Jose Aldo did drop out of the bout against Conor McGregor.
With the Garden Arena holding 16,000 its also one of the biggest indoor arenas in the United States that the organization uses on a regular basis. It helps the MGM brand create huge revenues, and also holds the annual UFC Fans Expo that is attended by thousands. Events like these have helped the MGM and other Las Vegas casinos offset the huge market share online portals now commanded since InterCasino became the pioneering website to offer foreign language supported casino platforms to nearly all the continents across the world and become one of the frontrunners in the online landscape. However, online portals cannot showcase events such as these, and thus physical casinos have used this to their benefit by offering inventive alternatives to create different revenue streams aside from gaming profits.
Now the MGM is a permanent fixture in the UFC’s calendar, and Johnson himself has appeared there twice before against Miguel Torres and Chris Cariaso in the past. With the card having many interesting fighters on the card including Anthony Johnson, Paige VanZant and John Linker – UFC 191 won’t break any records but it will be a card that’s definitely worth tuning in for.