UFC 123 is headed to Auburn Hills, Michigan.
That's the word from UFC president Dana White, who told MMA Fighting that the finalization of a deal to bring the Nov. 20 event to The Palace of Auburn Hills in the Detroit suburb closed on Wednesday morning.
The event will be headlined by the bout between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Lyoto Machida.
Being a Michigan resident there is a part of me that is very excited to see the UFC make the trek to the Detroit suburbs and hold an event, if for no other reason than that the sport is really poorly represented in the state.
Then there is the realist in me that is fairly certain the ticket sales for this event will be a disappointment. The Michigan economy is pretty awful and we're sporting the second highest unemployment rate in the country (even with a recent boom of new jobs). Nevada is first and obviously the UFC is strong there, but it also has the benefit of Las Vegas being a destination and there being a lot of money in the pockets of a lot of people. Michigan is a state that I just can't see a major UFC event selling well in.
Still, I'm going to choose to be happy about seeing the world's biggest and best MMA promotion return to my state for the first time since UFC 9 and I look forward to being in attendance when it goes down.