UFC president White looks forward to return to Pine Tree StateHermon High School graduate calls co-main event 'A big fight for Tim Boetsch'
Bangor — Perhaps no one is more excited for UFC Fight Night 47, slated for Saturday, Aug 16 at the Cross Insurance Center, than Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White.
The 45-year-old White, a 1987 graduate of Hermon High School who has family that lives in Levant, was thrilled when the opportunity to host an event in his home state came about.
White said it always has been a goal of his to bring a UFC fight to the Pine Tree State. He said having the Cross Insurance Center, along with the fact the Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway is across the street, only helped move the process along.
“Our people come in [and] they get hotel rooms, they eat in the restaurants, they shop, they go out at night for the night life whether its bars, clubs or whatever it is,” said White. “The economic impact we'll have on the city of Bangor is massive. When we roll out of town on Sunday, the people of Bangor will have felt that the UFC was there.”
In recent weeks the card has swelled from five fights to 10, with Lincolnville native Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (17-7) and Brad Tavares (12-3), along with Ryan “Darth” Bader (18-4) and Ovince Saint Preux (16-5), being the co-main events of the night.
Other fights on the card include: Ross “The Real Deal” (17-7) versus Abel “Killa” Trujillo (12-5), Gray Maynard (12-4-1) versus Fabricio “Morango” Camoes (14-8-1), Shawn “The Savage” Jordan versus Jack “The Outlaw” May (7-1), Thiago Tavares (22-5-1) versus Robbie “Problems” Peralta (18-4), Jussier Forniga (16-3) versus Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky (17-4), Sara McMann (7-1) versus Lauren Murphy (8-0), Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski (18-9) versus Alan “Brahma” Jouban (9-2) and Tom “Kong” Watson (16-7) versus Sam “Smile'N” Alvey (22-5).
The event will not only be live on Fox Sports 1, “it will be in 175 countries and territories around the world,” said White.
Tickets for the event are still available.
“For the people in Maine, I'm sure you have seen the UFC on TV and it is great to watch on TV,” he said. “But I'm telling you right now, [it is] the most exciting live sporting event you will ever see.”
White said Boetsch at one point was “ranked in the top five” in the middleweight division, and a win against Tavares, whom White referred to as a “young, hungry, tough animal” that is “basically looking to steal Tim Boetsch's spot,” would only help him ascend back up the ladder.
“This is a big fight for Tim Boetsch,” said White. “Every guy that is in the UFC, it's so exciting for them to fight in their hometown. And I'm sure Tim Boetsch thought it would never happen. I'm sure it's going to be big for him to have a lot of his friends, family and fans there cheering him on. And it's a fight that's really important for him.”
When asked about the growing popularity of the UFC in recent hears, White said the answer is simple:
“The reason the UFC has grown as fast as it is and its as big as it is around the world is because you never walk into that live event and when it's over go, 'Yeah I don't ever want to see this again.' The live event is insane. And if you're not really sure and you're kind of on the fringe and you're just showing up to see Tim Boetsch fight, you're going to be blown away.”
White said the Pearson/Trujillo fight “will be an absolute war,” the Jordan/May fight “isn't going to a decision" and Watson, who will fight Alvey in the first fight of the night, “is never boring.”
“It's a great card," White said. "It's stacked with tons of great fights. Just for the people who are friends, family or fans of Tim Boetsch, obviously you want to go see him fight live, but if you can't make it, it's live and free on Fox Sports 1.”