UFC to hold an event on April 30th in Toronto, Canada

After months of waiting for Ontario UFC fans, a date for the UFC’s debut event in Ontario has finally been set in stone. At a news conference today held at the Air Canada Center, the UFC announced that UFC 131 will take place at the Rogers Centre on April 30, 2011. Dana White was in attendance for this announcement and said he thinks it will be the biggest mixed martial arts event ever. The Rogers Center can seat up to 60,000 people, which leads some to question if it is a suitable venue for MMA. We will find out soon enough, as tickets are going on sale in January for hopefully the first of many major MMA events to be held in Ontario.

From the UFC’s official press release:

“Today, in recognition of this great Canadian passion, White and UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright, made the highly anticipated announcement that the Ultimate Fighting Championship® will host its first-ever event in Ontario as the UFC visits Toronto’s Rogers Centre on Saturday, April 30, 2011. The UFC also announced it will host a two-day Fan Expo at the Direct Energy Centre on April 29 and 30, rounding out what promises to be an historic and record-setting event.

READ MORE:  Khalil Rountree slapped with two month suspension after testing positive for DHEA ahead of UFC 303 fight

“Canadians have repeatedly shown how much they love the UFC,” said White. “Fans in Ontario have patiently waited and it will pay off as this one will go down in the history books come April 30. I’m very excited – Toronto is going to break the record and host the biggest mixed martial arts event ever in North America.”

“This announcement has been a long time coming and we’re thrilled,” said Wright. “Ontario is obviously a key market as Toronto is one of THE MMA cities in the world,” he added. “We’re very thankful to Premier Dalton McGuinty, Ministers Sophia Aggelonitis and John Gerretsen and the provincial government for their support in sanctioning and regulating the sport.”

READ MORE:  Khalil Rountree hit with suspension after testing positive for banned substance DHEA, out of UFC 303 fight

The Rogers Centre event will represent Canada’s sixth UFC global Pay-Per-View event following UFC 124 in Montreal on Dec. 11, 2010. Montreal has also hosted three other events (UFC 83, 97 and 113) since April 2008 while Vancouver hosted UFC 115 in June 2010.

The fight card for the April 30th event will be confirmed at a later date while tickets for the event and Fan Expo will go on sale in the New Year. UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets in advance of the on-sale date via UFCFightClub.com.”

With more excellent news regarding the UFC as well as MMA’s global expansion, there too comes people who are upset by it. President of Candian fighting group MFC Park Pavelich, took a clear swipe at UFC, centering once again on Dana White, via his own Facebook Page:

READ MORE:  Islam Makhachev's coach warns Max Holloway away from title fight at lightweight: 'It will be gruelling'

“How can anyone announce a date in Ontario before it’s sanctioned or before they are taking applications? The rules are the same fore everyone. A certain company in the MMA World regardless if they are the biggest are not, believes that they play by different rules and lots of times make up there own. I cannot and will …not announce a date in Ontario because until I get approval from the Commission it is not legal to announce but the second they do, you can bet I will let everyone know.”

It would appear the UFC should expect some Hostile Territorty as they move into new markets, as their expansion clearly doesn’t impress everyone.