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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The UFC appears to be heading to the Detroit area for November's UFC 123 event, as the Detroit Free Press reports that the UFC has reserved the November 20 date for the event, which would come to The Palace at Auburn Hills.
The event, headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Lyoto Machida, had been rumored for multiple cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and others, and the UFC seems to have settled on The Palace as the host venue.
The 24,000 capacity venue is the home to the NBA's Detroit Pistons, and is located in Auburn Hills, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit. It will be the UFC's first trip to Michigan in the Zuffa era.
The Free Press report cites Dr. James Weber, chair of the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission, as saying it's his understanding that it is a done deal. Also, the former chair of the commission, Al Low, who currently works as a representative for the UFC in Detroit, is cited saying that the date has officially been requested.
The only other UFC event in Detroit came over 14 years ago in May of 1996 at UFC 9, where the infamously bad Dan Severn vs. Ken Shamrock fight was contested with modified rules. The UFC was pulled off of pay-per-view following that event on many cable systems, beginning the "dark ages" of the sport.
UPDATE: The venue has been confirmed by UFC President Dana White in a report at MMAFighting.com.
Penick's Analysis: This may wind up being one of the lowest priced events for a UFC pay-per-view in a long time. At least, that's how it should be. Coming into that market with an event is great for the fans there in Michigan, but in one of the spots most devastated by the recession the UFC really needs to be conscious about their ticket pricing for this event. They priced themselves out of a sellout in Boston and they did the same thing in Portland, Ore. last year with UFC 102. They've done it in other places as well, but in the Detroit area especially, they've got to be very aware of the market and price these seats accordingly.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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