UFC looks to grow to speedway size

Ultimate Fighting Championship executives are considering an offer to have a super fight night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, possibly as soon as September.

Speedway President Chris Powell said he approached UFC President Dana White and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta about that possibility Friday at the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame at Orleans Arena.

It makes sense, Powell said, “because we put on big events, and they put on big events.”

White, reached Saturday, embraced the idea.

“I like it,” he said. “It would be cool as hell, and we have a few fights coming up that could pull it off.”

White’s main concern with an outdoor event is rain: “We could work with wind. September would be great.”

Powell said his initial vision would be to erect a temporary bowl in the infield to offer a more intimate view in the 132,000-seat venue.

“We’d add special effects,” Powell said.

The Nevada record for largest crowd at a boxing event is 29,214, established June 11, 1982, for the Larry Holmes-Gerry Cooney fight in the outdoor venue at Caesars Palace.

The largest crowd for a UFC event was 55,724, set April 30, 2011, at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

The idea of bringing the UFC to the speedway sprang from the speedway serving as the site of the Electric Daisy Carnival the past two years, drawing about 115,000 a night. Some EDC attendees sit in the speedway stands, but most are on the infield.

I recently reported that there have been rumblings the EDC might be eyeing a move to the Strip. There’s been interest in having Woodstock-like events on the vacant land west of the site of the old Sahara.

“I don’t think the EDC is leaving the speedway anytime soon,” Powell said.

White and Powell were among the class inducted Friday into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.


Jenn Michaels has been promoted to senior vice president of public relations for MGM Resorts International. Alan Feldman, who previously had the post, has been senior vice president of public affairs for some time. Michaels has been with the company 21 years as the PR side has grown from three to 22. ...

The radio gold standard in this city is having ex-mayor Oscar Goodman on the line. During his media blitz in New York City, his hotel phone rang. It was Melanie of Melanie & Zach on KSNE-FM, Sunny 106.5. Kiddingly, she said she was downstairs. “I bet you are!” Goodman roared. “I bet you are looped. You better be careful. There’s somebody else here who happens to be mayor, and she will not tolerate your nonsense. She thinks you are a stalker, so behave yourself.” Says Melanie by email: “Naturally this was all great fun. ... I’m really not a hussy!:)”. ...

Craig Williams, who left KOMP-FM, 92.3 on Friday after 26 years, gave me his fondest memories. At the top of the list: smoking a cigar with Jack Nicholson at the opening of The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in the 1990s. Crazy stuff: “Bungee jumping with the mic taped to my arm. Doing a broadcast live from an F-16 Thunderbird. I got a vasectomy live on the radio. I was spread-eagled, with my feet in the stirrups when (co-hosts) ‘Sweet’ Al (Miller) and Andy (Kaye) came in with power tools.” ...

Dayna Roselli, former morning anchor at KLAS-TV, Channel 8, has a fill-in role on “The Reelz Show” that airs Monday and Tuesday on the Reelz Channel (Direct TV 238 and Dish Network): “It was a great opportunity. Honored that they sought me out to do this.”


Scott Thorson’s book, “Behind the Candelabra,” fills in some details on Liberace’s show on the night of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

In Saturday’s column, comedy veteran Sammy Shore, who was opening for Liberace, was under the impression that grief was the reason Liberace couldn’t do the show in Pittsburgh that night.

Shore, 88, recalled he filled in for Liberace.

According to the book, Liberace was seriously ill and collapsed during a costume change. His health had declined because the cleaning chemical tetrachloride was used in one of his costumes. Doctors diagnosed his problem as uremic poisoning, and his kidneys were shutting down. He was hospitalized six weeks, undergoing kidney dialysis.


Former Nebraska All-American quarterback David Humm, making a rare public appearance Friday at the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame induction. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 25 years ago.


“A new study estimates that Colorado residents will legally smoke more than 2 million ounces of marijuana next year. That’s like a reggae festival and Willie Nelson’s birthday combined.” — Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.