Massachusetts has become the 42nd state in the country to bring regulated mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions, including Ultimate Fighting® Championship® (UFC®) events, to thousands of Bay State fans. The Massachusetts Legislature recently passed a bill that would allow the Department of Public Safety to oversee regulation of the popular sport in the state.
Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC®, does not conduct events in any state that does not properly regulate MMA. This legislation will now enable the company to hold events in Massachusetts. Specifically, the legislation mandates safety and medical requirements for every MMA fighter and event held in the state. The events will also bring an economic boost to local communities across Massachusetts that hosts them.
The UFC® has worked with members of the Massachusetts Legislature and the Department of Public Safety for over two years to pass legislation to regulate the sport so it could bring events to the state. The UFC® is the largest live pay-per-view event content provider in the world and the fastest growing mainstream sports organization in history. Its programming is distributed in 132 countries, territories and jurisdictions, reaching 430 million homes worldwide, in 20 different languages.
Kenny Florian, a Massachusetts native and one of the UFC®’s premier lightweight fighters, campaigned to get the legislation passed said, “The chance to fight in front of my hometown crowd has always been a dream of mine. Now it looks like my dream will finally come true”. The Boston College graduate testified before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security supporting regulation of mixed martial arts.
“Mixed martial arts events are enormously popular in Massachusetts and held in venues across the state every day. That is why passing legislation to regulate the sport was so important: We want it to be safe for everyone” said State Senator James Timilty, chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security who led the effort to regulate MMA.
Dana White, the President of the UFC®, who grew up in Boston, expressed the reaction of many fans as well when the legislation passed, “I am so pumped that the UFC® is finally coming to Massachusetts. I guarantee that we will put on an incredible UFC® event for Boston in 2010” he said.
The first UFC® fight in Massachusetts could be held as early as Summer 2010.