British boxer, Ricky Hatton took in his very first UFC event on November 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as he attended UFC 91 in Las Vegas.
Hatton will actually be fighting at the very same venue this Saturday nght, November 22, as he takes on Paulie Malignaggi in a junior welterweight world championship unification bout.
Hatton had this to say to the Daily Star about what he witnessed at UFC 91:
“The presentation and general approach of the UFC is something that boxing can learn a great deal from. The whole aspect of it was great and, rather than boxing ignore it, it should take a leaf out of the UFC book. For instance, they have big screens around the arena with pre-fight interviews which really get the crowd involved. Why can’t we do that at boxing matches in the UK? I was really, really impressed. I know that the UFC sells out wherever it is – but to be present at this fight night was an eye-opening experience.”
For Hatton to view a card like that as his first experience, he had to be impressed. He is only 30 years old; maybe it inspired him enough to want to throw his hat in the ring. Why not?
Hatton along with many others got to witness what will probably go down in history as a turning point for the UFC and MMA in general. It’s hard to gauge just how large the ripple effect from UFC 91 will be but we are already seeing unprecedented levels of press coverage.
Evolution consists of milestiones. Bonnar vs. Griffin was the last great milestone. Looking back at UFC 91 one day it’s very likely the Lesnar vs. Couture fight will be considered a milestone in the growth of mixed martial arts.