UFC event updates: Ireland, South Africa and Maine events in the works

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

BOSTON -- Ireland and South Africa appear to be on the UFC's agenda. And while we're talking far-flung locales, Bangor, Maine, could be in for a show, too.

It wouldn't be a Dana White media scrum without a handful of questions about future plans for the UFC's road show. At Thursday's UFC Fight Night press conference at the Wang Theatre, White confirmed the three locales are in the works, though no dates are set.

White confirmed that they will return to the Republic of Ireland in 2014. The company's last event in the nation was UFC 93 in Dublin in Jan. 2009. White also said the company is planning on running an event in South Africa, though no timetable is finalized.

The UFC president credited both initiatives to Garry Cook, who was hired last year as the company's vice president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

"When we announced that Garry Cook was taking over in England, I told you guys he's a sharp guy and a great guy," Cook said. "He's kicking ass over there."

As for Bangor, which may seem a random place to hold an event, this one's personal to White, who has family ties to the Central Maine city.

"My grandparents used to live up in Maine outside of Bangor," White said, "I have a place up there. They just built a new arena up there. And a new casino, it's a really nice casino. I was blown away when I saw it. ... I would love to do a Fight Night up there in Bangor. I'm trying to get that done. I don't know if I can pull it off financially. "

Bangor's Cross Insurance Center, a 5,800-seat arena, is scheduled to open in September.

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