Even before the ink could dry after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed mixed martial arts sanctioning into law in New York on Thursday, the UFC issued an announcement of its first event in the state since UFC 7: The Brawl in Buffalo took place in 1995. UFC 7 featured Ken Shamrock vs. Oleg Taktarov in a superfight, and Marco Ruas won a one-night, eight-man, no-weight-class tournament.
The UFC will host “a major Pay-Per-View” event at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Nov. 12. Unlike at UFC 7, weight classes and a full set of rules and regulations will be in play.
Additionally, UFC will be adding another live event in Upstate New York before the end of the year. The organization has pledged four events per year for the first three years after passage of the bill. The events will be held in Upstate cities such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany, in addition to Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center in New York City.
Gov. Cuomo signing the bill on mixed martial arts sanctioning was the final hurdle to clear the way for New Yorkers such as Jon Jones, Chris Weidman, and Rashad Evans to finally fight on their home turf, and the UFC wasted no time in making its first event under the new sanctioning a reality.
“I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, Senator Joe Griffo and the many other leaders in the state of New York for legalizing and regulating the sport of mixed martial arts,” said UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. “Our commitment to bringing incredible live events to New York starts immediately, as we’ve planned a major Pay-Per-View event at Madison Square Garden on November 12. It’s going to be a historic, monumental moment for this sport and our passionate fans when the Octagon finally arrives in New York. ”
“Today marks a great day for both MMA fans and New York,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, Marquee Events and Operations, The Madison Square Garden Company. “We think it’s only fitting that the first UFC event is taking place at The World’s Most Famous Arena and look forward to these world-class athletes becoming part of The Garden’s storied history.”
Further information about the upcoming live event at Madison Square Garden will be announced in the weeks to come.