After last week’s news that the Ultimate Fight Championship would hold a press conference to make a major announcement regarding mixed martial arts in Canada, the day has finally arrived and the announcement has been made. UFC President Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta made the announcement officially today that the promotion is set to open an office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tom Wright, former-CFL commissioner, has been named the Director for the Canadian office.
Wright’s job description entails everything from strengthening ties in Canada to supporting local youth sports programs, according to the promotion. However, the desire of the promotion to get the sport sanctioned in the Canadian province is also on the agenda, as White and Fertitta made perfectly clear in the press conference. Mixed martial arts remains illegal in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, and the rest of the province of Ontario. Much effort has been made on the part of the promotion to earn sanctioning in the area, but to no avail.
The UFC has been looking towards expansion in recent years, traveling the globe with events in Germany, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates, most recently. The promotion has also focused on Canada extensively, holding several events per year in the country. The news that a Canadian office will be coming soon is another step towards further expansion in one of the UFC’s most successful markets.
The promotion will be traveling to Canada next month for UFC 115, which features the return of Chuck Liddell opposite former-middleweight champion Rich Franklin. The event will be held at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on June 12 and comes just one month after UFC 113, which was held in Montreal on May 8.