During yesterday’s pre-UFC 97 press conference in Montreal, Dana White announced plans for the promotion to visit Boston, New York City, and Toronto by 2010. All three cities do not currently regulate mixed martial arts but a push is on the legalize the sport so the UFC could hold events in each city by next year.
Kenny Florian and UFC vice president of regulation and governmental affairs Marc Ratner, among others, were in Massachussets yesterday to encourage the state to pass legislation that would pave the way for the UFC to hold an event in Boston before year end.
“The panel made a great case for what I think is pretty straightforward,” Sen. James Timilty, the chairman of the public safety and homeland security committee, was quoted as saying by the Boston Herald. “The sport is exploding in popularity, but it is existing right now unregulated (in Massachusetts). Boxing has been regulated for decades. It’s about time that we’ve made the adjustment.”
Provided the sport soon becomes regulated, a UFC event is tentatively scheduled for November 21st at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.
A fight remains to have regulations approved in Ontario and New York, but White was confident at the presser that the UFC will soon be welcomed in both Toronto and New York City, announcing plans to hold events in both cities by early next year.
Dana White also indicated during the press conference that the UFC will soon hold its first event in France.