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Ontario, Canada Legalizes MMA for 2011 Debut

Georges St-PierreThe UFC’s push for sanctioning in Ontario, Canada has finally paid off, as the province announced today that it has legalized MMA and will host its first event next year.

The move comes less than three months after the UFC opened an office in Toronto headed by former CFL commissioner Tom Wright with hopes of bringing an event to the city, which ranks as one of the UFC’s most-popular.

Along with New York, Ontario was one of the biggest holdouts in legalizing the sport, but was apparently swayed by the estimated $6 million economic impact that would come with hosting a major UFC event.

According to a release, the Ontario Athletic Commission will adopt New Jersey’s Unified MMA rules, which are widely used across North America.

In May, it was reported that the UFC booked Toronto’s 60,000-plus seat Rogers Center for a March 26 event, but it’s not yet known if the UFC’s debut date will change now that legalization is official.

Could the UFC push back Georges St-Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck from December to headline its Toronto debut early next year?

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Pictured: Georges St-Pierre

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