Liverpool’s Echo Arena has been awarded hosting rights for a UFC event in May, in what will mark the mixed martial arts promotion’s first visit to the English city.

The 11,000-seat arena will host the event on May 27, with Liverpool-born welterweight Darren Till set to headline the card. Till’s opponent has not yet been confirmed.

Two middleweight clashes – Tom Breese vs Daniel Kelly and Elias Theodorou vs Trevor Smith – will also form part of the event.

According to the MMA Junkie website, 3Arena in the Irish capital of Dublin had been in line to host the event, but Echo Arena eventually won out.

Although Liverpool has never hosted a UFC event before, the series has visited London multiple times, as well as Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Nottingham.

David Shaw, UFC’s senior vice-president of international and content, said: “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018.”

Echo Arena opened in 2008 and regularly hosts comedy and music events. It has previously staged bouts organised by MMA promotions such as Cage Warriors.

Image: Keith Edkins