First Dutch UFC bout set for Ahoy Rotterdam on May 8

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Fighters Shane Carwin and Junior Dos Santos facing off at UFC 131 in Vancouver, Canada. June 11, 2011. (photo: Bad intentionz / Wikimedia). (Fighters Shane Carwin and Junior Dos Santos facing off at UFC 131 in Vancouver, Canada. June 11, 2011. (photo: Bad intentionz / Wikimedia))

The first-ever Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contest to take place in the Netherlands is scheduled on May 8 at Ahoy Rotterdam. UFC is banking on the Netherlands’ history with kickboxing and mixed martial arts as a way of tapping into a dedicated audience there.

“Holland is a key market for us and it’s somewhere we want to be,” UFC vice-president and EMEA general manager James Elliot said back in October. He was looking to secure a television deal with Fox for the Dutch market

Those plans are also moving forward, reported TotaalTV.nl. The May 8 bout is to be broadcast live on Fox and Fox Sports.

No fighters were announced for the Rotterdam card, but at least three different Dutch fighters participate in UFC, according to AD. They are Gegard Mousasi, Alistair Overeem and Stefan Struve.

“I got goosebumps when I heard UFC is finally coming to our country, and I’m thrilled that it’s really going to happen,” Struve said. He desperately hopes to be part of the night’s events. “This is exactly what I need at this point in my career: fighting in the presence of my family and friends,” he said.

Ticket sales will begin on March 24.

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