According to Tatame, Antonio Mendes will return to action inside the Octagon on January 17 in Dublin, Ireland. This will be the UFC's second trip to Ireland and will kick off a year that will take the number one MMA promotion to multiple international sites. Plans have been made for events in England, Canada, and even the Philippines. It is likely the Dublin event will be UFC 93 and air on
The UFC's first trip to Ireland occurred on June 16, 2007. Following the successful PPV, there were immediate rumors of a return in 2008. The show featured a main event between Rich Franklin and Yushin Okami. Originally Martin Kampmann was Franklin's opponent, but he was forced to withdraw due to injury. The card also featured Forrest Griffin, Tyson Griffin, and Clay Guida.
At this point no other details are known about the Dublin event. With many of the UFC's top fighters already committed to fights, it is difficult to know who will be available. UFC 89 is the promotion's next event and it features quite a few European fighters. A three month turn around time for their next fight on January 17 would not be out of the question, especially if it means fighting in front of European fans.
One name I do not expect to be on the card is Michael Bisping. He is a win away from a spot on The Ultimate Fighter 9, as the coach of the United Kingdom Team. MMA is a difficult sport to predict and it would not be a total surprise if Chris Leben pulled off the upset. In which case, it would seem logical for Bisping to be a candidate for the Dublin show. Other possibilities include Chuck Liddell vs Rich Franklin and Matt Hughes vs Matt Serra. Both are bouts being talked about for future events and would provide a viable main event for the Dublin audience.