Victorian state election opens door to UFC mega-event in Melbourne

It’s not often a state election has had such meaning to the MMA community, but in the Australian state of Victoria the election on November 29, 2014 (local time) was fought not just over conservative and union based political lines, but this time it was also about the cage ban. Ironically, The Victorian Labor Party, who have won the state election have promised to retract the cage ban should they win office, the very ban they implemented in 2008 and the recently deposed Victorian Liberal Party had sworn to uphold the ban, sensationalising the issue as being related to alcohol fuelled street violence.

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In the days leading up to the election an increasingly desperate Liberal Party released a shocking commercial and social media campaign featuring the image of Joe Stevenson messed up in his title fight with BJ Penn. In one of the more bizarre moments in Australian political history the sport of MMA has always remained legal in Victoria, but the ‘cage fighting state’ is set to be reborn in 2014.

MMA Kanvas has followed this issue in depth and reported UFC brass are set to announce the details of a planned mega-show in the coming days, but heres what is clear. UFC 129 is the blue-print for a stadium style mega-show and it featured 2 title fights and a card stacked with local Canadian fighters featured in front of 55,000, headlined by GSP vs Jake Shields.

This is great news for Australian and New Zealand fighters, the sports viewing public in the Asia-Pacific and the many tireless campaigners for MMA in the Oceania region  The Sun Herald has reported the UFC has booked Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium for November 15 (local time) corresponding with UFC 193 PPV date, as per the 2015 schedule released in mid November.

Even if the UFC only schedules one title fight there is every chance Mark Hunt will either co-headline or feature. Melbourne is the closest Australian mainland city to New Zealand and many fighters including Mark Hunt, James Te Huna and Dylan Andrews are embraced by both nations and refer to themselves as fighting in the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) spirit.

So expect a UFC 193 to be provisionally announced in the coming days and the cage ban to be disposed of, opening the way for local MMA events like AFC 12 to make use of the cage as early as Feb. 2015.

 

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Categories: AFC, Asian MMA, Australia, MMA, UFC

Author:Michael Job

Australasian MMA

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One Comment on “Victorian state election opens door to UFC mega-event in Melbourne”

  1. Michael Job
    December 1, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Reblogged this on Once Were Wimps.

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