UFC eyes return to Boston

By Dan Duggan

While the UFC keeps its focus on breaking into New York, there also are plans to return to Massachusetts.

After playing a major role in getting mixed martial arts sanctioned in Massachusetts, the UFC held its debut show at the TD Garden last Aug. 28. The pay-per-view event — and the week of buildup, including a well-attended expo — were deemed highly successful.

That experience has the UFC eyeing a return to the area.

“We’re very bullish on Massachusetts and Boston especially,” UFC vice president of regulatory affairs Marc Ratner said. “It may be late this year or first quarter next year. We’re definitely coming back. Between the commission and the city, they couldn’t have treated us better.”

The UFC intends to return to the Garden for another pay-per-view card, but also is open to hosting a smaller cable television event at a venue such as the DCU Center in Worcester.

In the meantime, the UFC continues to press forward in New York. UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and president Dana White appeared at a press conference at Madison Square Garden recently in an attempt to garner some positive publicity for MMA in the state from which it has faced the most opposition.

MMA is approved in 44 of the 48 states with an athletic commission — Alaska and Wyoming don’t have such panels — and legislation currently is in the works in West Virginia and Connecticut.

So why the resistance in New York?

 

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