UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta Plans to Bring UFC to New York By End of 2016
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed that there are plans to hold at least two events in New York by the end of 2016, now that the state has officially legalized MMA.
It was an historic day on Tuesday, as the New York State Assembly passed the bill to lift the ban on MMA. Once Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the bill, the New York State Athletic Commission will have just 120 days to finalize rules and regulations for MMA in the state. Afterwards, UFC will be able to begin setting up events, which is what Fertitta is looking forward to, as he plans on keeping to his earlier promise to bring UFC to New York as soon as possible.
“We are hopeful that we will be holding one, possibly two events [in New York] before the end of the year here in 2016,” Fertitta said in a post-legalization interview. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to get in at least two in before the end of the year.”
Fertitta is aiming for November or December for the first post-ban UFC pay-per-view in New York. The show would presumably take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, although cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica were among other cities considered for the very first show, which could be a non-PPV event such as a Fight Night on FOX Sports 1 or UFC Fight Pass.
“I think it’s gonna be an epic moment for the sport and for our company,” Fertitta said. “Obviously, right now all of our focus is on trying to put together the matches for UFC 200, but when we go to New York and we eventually debut at Madison Square Garden, me and Dana [White] and the rest of the team are gonna be very focused on delivering for the fans. We’re gonna put together the best available matches that we can. You’ll have the biggest names that we can possibly put on, the biggest names that are available at the time. Believe me, we want to knock it out of the park and we want to deliver for New York in a big way.”
So what fights do you think UFC should try to book for its first New York pay-per-view? Which fights would you like to see? Sound off in the comments!
And for more MMA news, read up on which major rematch is reportedly being made for UFC 200!