UFC pencils-in December 7th return to Australia
The UFC cannot confirm which city will host the December 7th event
Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Speaking exclusively to MMA Kanvas, Director of UFC Operations in Australia Tom Wright revealed that the organisation has big plans for events Down Under.
“To be clear, we have a calendar date set for Australia on December 7 and it could be in Perth, it could be in Melbourne, it could be in Adelaide, it could be in Sydney, it’s just not set yet.”
“What I can confirm is we asked for a hold on an arena for December the 7th. When you have a hold on an arena it’s held for you until you announce that you will come and work out a contract detail and make those kinds of decisions.”
Wright revealed that should the Victorian government change its stance on MMA taking place in a cage, rather than a boxing ring, the UFC would be there in a heartbeat.
“If the government [in Melbourne] had an epiphany for change tomorrow morning we could be there,” he said.
Wright is currently on an excursion around Australia, hosting a gathering of the mixed martial arts community in Western Australia this past Tuesday.
“We called it an MMA forum and it was an opportunity for Anthony [Perosh] and me to sit down with the fighters, promoters, athletic commissioners and fans to have a chance to have a lengthy dialogue about the growth of the sport, how we feel on it and how we feel it needs to be responsibly regulated for a cage.”
“It was really an opportunity to bring a community together and talk on the issues the sport has,” he said.
The only thing stopping the organisation from promoting a major event in Perth is the banning of the cage. WA recently joined Victoria as the only other state to boycott mixed martial arts events inside a chain linked enclosure.
“In Western Australia the government’s issue is a subjective image of the cage and they just don’t like the sport and how it looks. I think it is fine for an individual to dislike a sport or activity but decisions should be made from an informed objectivity rather than your opinion,” he told MMA Kanvas.
The former commissioner for the Canadian Football League will meet with Victorian government officials in the coming days with aspirations to host a UFC event at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium in 2014.
The UFC has shattered attendance records in both Sydney and the Gold Coast and in an ideal world, our nation could become a regular stop on the UFC’s expanding international calendar.
“I think we could visit three or four times per year. I think that’s what we need to do to have a healthy marketplace and satisfy the market,” Wright said.
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