By MATT BOONE
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
The Ontario government ruled today in favor of allowing mixed-martial arts events to be regulated and held in the Canadian province, reports several Canadian sports outlets. The announcement paves the way for the first regulated pro-MMA event to be held in Ontatio next year, a move that the UFC has been waiting on for a while.
UFC has always been a popular attraction in the Canadian market, drawing some of their largest crowds ever for events run at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. With this announcement, UFC can finally run Toronto, now that events are regulated in the province of Ontario.
At UFC 108 back on April 19, 2008, internet ticket sales showed that 42-percent of fans who purchased tickets online were from Ontario. In addition to that, UFC president Dana White has always been vocal about the die-hard following they have all across Canada, noting that no matter where they hold an event, a large percentage of those who buy tickets hail from Canada.
Knowing all of this, when the UFC finally does run a venue in Ontario, likely the Rogers Centre in Toronto, it should be a big deal. We could be looking at record breaking numbers for such an event, something that would be such sweet justice knowing how difficult it has been to clear MMA in Ontario.
Everyone get your best “I told you so” speeches prepared now.