(Don Zimmer‘s quest to become an Ultimate Fighter meets an abrupt ending…)
Massachusetts has become the 42nd state in the country to bring regulated mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions, including Ultimate Fighting® Championship® (UFC®) events, to thousands of Bay State fans. The Massachusetts Legislature recently passed a bill that would allow the Department of Public Safety to oversee regulation of the popular sport in the state.
Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC®, does not conduct events in any state that does not properly regulate MMA. This legislation will now enable the company to hold events in Massachusetts. Specifically, the legislation mandates safety and medical requirements for every MMA fighter and event held in the state. The events will also bring an economic boost to local communities across Massachusetts that hosts them.
The UFC® has worked with members of the Massachusetts Legislature and the Department of Public Safety for over two years to pass legislation to regulate the sport so it could bring events to the state…Kenny Florian
, a Massachusetts native and one of the UFC®’s premier lightweight fighters, campaigned to get the legislation passed said, “The chance to fight in front of my hometown crowd has always been a dream of mine. Now it looks like my dream will finally come true”…
“Mixed martial arts events are enormously popular in Massachusetts and held in venues across the state every day. That is why passing legislation to regulate the sport was so important: We want it to be safe for everyone” said State Senator James Timilty, chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security who led the effort to regulate MMA.
Dana White, the President of the UFC®, who grew up in Boston, expressed the reaction of many fans as well when the legislation passed, “I am so pumped that the UFC® is finally coming to Massachusetts. I guarantee that we will put on an incredible UFC® event for Boston in 2010” he said.
According to an additional report from Sherdog, the UFC is planning to hold its first Massachusetts event at the TD Garden in July or August, and is looking at smaller venues like the DCU Center in Worcester for UFC Fight Night or WEC events. A UFC event in Fenway Park is still a possibility for the future, but won’t happen in 2010.
Mass’s MMA regulation bill doesn’t take effect for 90 days, during which time local promoters will be allowed to put on events without complying with new requirements like paying a gate tax and licensing fighters. So…anybody want to take a road trip to Boston and help us put together a completely shady, unregulated MMA event? I’m thinking Ken Shamrock vs. Aleksander Emelianenko in the main event, and Kim Couture vs. Jose Canseco as the co-headliner. Kids drink free until midnight!