UFC® WELCOMES VICTORIAN LABOR PARTY’S APPROACH TO COMBAT SPORTS REGULATIONS
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) today welcomed a proposal by the Victorian Labor Party that would clarify its position surrounding mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions.
Michael Mersch, the UFC’s Senior Vice-President of Business and Legal Affairs and Assistant General Counsel, and Tom Wright, UFC Director of Operations for Australia and Canada, called on the Minister for Sport and Recreation, The Honourable Hugh Delahunty, to support the Labor Party’s reforms, which include allowing MMA to be conducted in fenced-in structures or cages, such as the UFC’s trademarked and purpose-built Octagon®, for MMA events in Victoria.
“MMA events are presently only allowed to be conducted in Victoria in boxing rings which were never designed for MMA competitions,” Mr. Mersch said. “The safety of our athletes is our priority and the Octagon is designed to provide the safest environment for MMA competitions. We now hope that the Victorian Government agrees to review and lift the current ban on the Octagon, which will allow the UFC to stage events in Melbourne.”
The UFC has been at the forefront of strengthening the rules and regulations for MMA competitions around the world with the aim of protecting the health and safety of the athletes that compete in MMA. The UFC welcomes the opportunity to work with the Victorian Government on any review of their MMA regulations, and in particular, their current prohibition against the use of much safer enclosed structures or cages like the Octagon.
“The UFC wants to be a regular part of Melbourne’s sporting calendar,” added Mr. Wright. “If the Victorian Government were to approve the use of the Octagon, we would immediately begin the process of planning for an event at Etihad Stadium and bringing a UFC Fan Expo™ to Victoria, both of which would generate in excess of $38 million in economic activity for Victoria, while strengthening Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s sporting capital.
“Melbourne is known and respected worldwide as the one of the world’s best sporting cities. What better way to maintain and enhance that position than by allowing the Ultimate Fighting Championship the ability to promote the fastest-growing sport in the world in the Ultimate Sports City?”
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