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UFC Dublin in doubt as Ireland bans major public gatherings until September

Octagon Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC Dublin has been put in major doubt as the Irish government has banned mass public gatherings of over 5,000 people until mid-September due to coronavirus concerns.

The UFC was set to host its fourth show in the Irish capital on Aug. 15. Although no bouts were scheduled for the highly-anticipated card, a meeting between Darren Till and Robert Whittaker was reportedly targeted for the 3 Arena date.

“Local authorities have been advised by Government that event promoters should be informed that events requiring licenses in excess of 5,000 will not be considered for the period up to the end of August,” the government said in a statement published by Reuters.

MMA Fighting has reached out to the UFC for comment on the issue.

Although there is no official line from the UFC at the moment, the event could possibly go ahead behind doors in Dublin. However, with the unique selling point of Irish events being the passionate backdrop created by the crowd, it remains to be seen if the promotion will still move forward with the card.

All three of the UFC’s previous visits to Dublin have sold out. UFC 93 saw a star-studded show put on at 3 Arena headlined by Dan Henderson vs. Rich Franklin. UFC Fight Night in 2014 went on to be one of the most infamous international cards due to the emergence of Conor McGregor as a force at 145 pounds following his stoppage win over Diego Brandao and the amazing reception he and the other national charges were given. UFC’s last trip to Dublin came in October 2015, with Irish flyweight Paddy Holohan losing out to Louis Smolka in the main event.

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