Anthony Joshua

Fight fans rage as UFC returns to London on same night as Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk

The UFC has announced it will be returning to the UK for the second time this year on July 23 - the same night Anthony Joshua is set to attempt to win back his heavyweight titles against Oleksandr Usyk

Fans have been left fuming after the UFC announced its return to London on the same night as Anthony Joshua’s scheduled boxing rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

The much-loved MMA promotion announced on Thursday afternoon that it would be returning to the capital for its second UK show of the year for the first time in history. The official UFC account tweeted: “What’s better than one #UFCLondon? How about two in the same year! After an incredible night in March, the UFC Octagon will return to London on July 2. Let’s run it back.”

But fans were quick to point out that a huge boxing event in the form of Joshua vs Usyk 2 could be taking place on the same night.

Eddie Hearn revealed this week he was in the “final negotiations” to confirm AJ’s world heavyweight title rematch against Usyk. The Matchroom promoter insisted a date had emerged to host the highly-anticipated fight after the Ukrainian caused a shock upset by defeating the Brit at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year.

Hearn told The DAZN Boxing show: “We’ll be in July, July 23. That’s the front-runner, we’re in final negotiations with sites in the Middle East and the UK.

“We looked at America, but I don’t think that will be where it takes place. I’d like to be in a position, fight week for Canelo, where we have some news.”

Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will go at it again on July 23
Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will go at it again on July 23 (Image: (Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images))

News of Dana White’s decision to also hold an event on July 23 means fight fans may end up having to pick between which of the two events they want to watch. And it came as a surprise due to the UFC chief likely to miss out on some pay-per-view revenue as a result of the competition.

One fan wrote on Twitter: “Same night as Joshua Vs Usyk 2. Not a good move.”

UFC London was a huge success earlier this year
UFC London was a huge success earlier this year (Image: Getty Images)

Another sarcastically added: “10/10 scheduling job from the UFC here.”

AJ’s bout with Usyk is set to be one of the biggest fights of the year. With Usyk currently holding the belts, the winner is in line for another huge payday and a shot at history by facing WBC champion Tyson Fury in an undisputed fight towards the end of the year.

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