The UFC has had its eye on Helsinki for several years. Going back to 2011, UFC reps were in Finland looking at the Hartwall Arena that is located close to central Helsinki. Today, Finnish combat sport veteran Auvo Niiniketo Tweeted that the UFC is now in talks with the Finnish representatives about holding an event in Finland in 2014.
*** Update ***: Our content partner FightSport.fi revealed more information on the issue today. According to FightSport it is the new owners of Hartwall Arena that are behind the initiative to get UFC to Helsinki. Earlier this year Hartwall Arena was bought by Russian billionare Gennadi Timtsenko together with Russian-Finn Rotenberg family. It seems that the new owners would like to elevate the profile of their recent purchase with a UFC event. Timtsenko and Rotenberg’s could be valuable partners for UFC also as they own a huge event arena in St. Petersburg, have close relationships with the Russian government and an established business network in Russia.
Niiniketo, who is the founder of Hokutoruy Ju-jutsu and one that has been involved with all kinds of combat sports related businesses, wrote that the negotiations are difficult and there’s a long road ahead but if everything turns out well, there’ll be a UFC event in Hartwall arena in 2014.
Finnish MMA Federation’s president Petteri Maunu did not know about the possible on-going negotiations when MMA Viking reached him for a comment.
Hartwall Arena is the biggest indoor arena in Finland. It’s mostly used for ice hockey but it has also served as a venue for major boxing events including Super Six bout between Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham.
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