Two major announcements came from the UFC today.
Promotion will Host Two-Day Expo and Fight Night in April
For the first time in its history, the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) announced on Tuesday that it will head into the Canadian city of Toronto, Ontario. Not only will the UFC hold a fight night at the Rogers Centre on Saturday, April 30th, it will also conduct a two-day fan expo that Friday and Saturday at the Direct Energy Centre.
“Canadians have repeatedly shown how much they love the UFC,” President Dana White stated. “Fans in Ontario have patiently waited, and it will pay off as this one will go down in the history books come April 30. I’m very excited. Toronto is going to break the record and host the biggest Mixed Martial Arts event ever in North America.”
Along with White, UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright made the official announcement today.
"This announcement has been a long time coming, and we're thrilled," Wright said. "Ontario is obviously a key market as Toronto is one of THE MMA cities in the world. We’re very thankful to Premier Dalton McGuinty, Ministers Sophia Aggelonitis and John Gerretsen and the provincial government for their support in sanctioning and regulating the sport.”
Details for UFC 126 were also made official today, with the event being hosted at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, February 5th, the night before the Super Bowl.
“UFC fans expect big things from us every year for our Super Bowl weekend show, and this year could be our biggest ever,” White remarked. “Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort is a fight fan’s dream match. It’s a fight people have wanted for years. Don’t blink because both of these guys have dynamite in their hands and can end the night quickly and in very exciting fashion. Plus, I can’t wait to see Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin mix it up. They’re two former champions that are known for being in the middle of instant classics. And then we have the next wave of stars in the Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader fight. Both of these guys are the future of our sport and possess unlimited talent. It’s impossible to pick a winner here.”
Silva (27-4) is one of the most gifted fighters in the history of the sport, and the Brazilian native is currently riding a 13-match winning streak. His last defeat came nearly five years ago against Yushin Okami, when he was disqualified for an illegal upkick during Rumble at the Rock 8.
“This is a fight I’ve been looking forward to for a while,” Silva commented. “Vitor is a very talented striker and a tough competitor. I am training very hard, and I know that the fight could go anywhere, but I expect a standup war. I also want to say that I’m very excited to be fighting in Las Vegas again. I have a lot of fans in Vegas, and it’s been a while since I’ve fought there. The fans are always very loud in Las Vegas, and I feed off that energy.”
Tickets for UFC 126 go on sale Saturday and can be purchased through www.ticketmaster.com.