Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Taking the show on the road

So far in 2007, the UFC has held events in Las Vegas and Florida, and has matches scheduled for Columbus, Ohio; Houston Texas; and London. And its sights are set on several other locations that have yet to host mixed martial arts events.

The UFC is currently in the process of helping to introduce legislation into Illinois and Michigan that if passed, would allow the organization to run events in major cities like Chicago and Detroit. And New York isn't far behind, either. The organization is actively involved in working with New York lobbyists and legislators to get the sport approved there, opening up the opportunity to run fight cards at arenas like Madison Square Garden.

"That's certainly the mecca, the goal," said Marc Ratner, UFC's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. "When I speak to commissions who've approved the sport and had other competing groups runs, I say, now it's time to have Broadway. Now, we want to take our Broadway to Broadway."

UFC President Dana White recently told that it was his goal to run events in both Chicago and New York within 18 months. Ratner says that goal is realistic.

"I believe it is, yes," he says. "We'll start working on New York a little more aggressively next week and we'll find out what it entails. It depends on each state, but I'm very bullish on the future of the sport."

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