The world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion makes its first appearance in Wisconsin in five years on Saturday.
UFC on Fox: Lee vs. Iaquinta 2 will broadcast on the network from the new Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, just the third time that the UFC has held an event in the state. The main event, a lightweight (155 pounds) bout between Kevin Lee and “Raging” Al Iaquinta, is almost a No. 1 contender’s match in the UFC’s most crowded-at-the-top division.
Two Wisconsin-based fighters will be on the card, highlighted by bantamweight Sergio Pettis. Pettis, the younger brother of former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, is based out of Milwaukee and the famed Roufusport MMA Academy in the city.
Racine, Wis., native Gerald Meerschaert will also have the home-state advantage in his undercard middleweight fight against Jack Hermanssson. Meerschaert fights out of Green Bay, but also does fight campus at Roufusport.
The UFC last came to Wisconsin in August 2013, when Anthony Pettis won the lightweight title from Benson Henderson. That event and a 2011 fight night were held at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Fiserv Forum — along with being the home arena of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks — has held concerts, WWE shows and other events since it opened in August.
The new building may make Milwaukee an annual stop for the UFC, as the promotion adds more events each year and considering the state’s connection with it. Along with Roufusport — led by pioneering MMA coach Duke Roufus and the home of multiple UFC champions — Harley-Davidson is one of the primary corporate sponsors of the UFC.
This will be the UFC’s last card on the Fox, ending a seven-year run with the network. ESPN signed a multiyear deal with the UFC to broadcast its non-pay-per-view cards starting in January.