Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) officials once again stormed Massachusetts, attempting to convince lawmakers in the "Bay State" that mixed martial arts regulation is good for them and the state economy ... to the tune of $12.3 million in just one weekend.
The latest dog and pony show appears to have done the trick during a State House hearing held just yesterday. In fact, if all goes according to plan, the promotion will likely stage a major pay-per-view (PPV) event on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, from the TD Banknorth Garden.
Here’s a snip from Sen. James Timilty (D-Walpole), the chairman of the public safety and homeland security committee, via the Boston Herald:
"The panel made a great case for what I think is pretty straightforward. The sport is exploding in popularity, but it is existing right now unregulated (in Massachusetts). Boxing has been regulated for decades. It’s about time that we’ve made the adjustment."
Number one lightweight contender and local-area fighter, Kenny Florian, UFC vice president of regulation and governmental affairs Marc Ratner, as well as general counsels Lawrence Epstein and Michael Mersch, comprised the UFC contingent charged with making the case for regulation.
According to the report, "the next phase of the process will be the public safety committee voting to favorably report on the bill, which will pave the way for it to move through the Senate, the House and ultimately land on Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk to be signed into law."
It can’t come soon enough -- Florian, Marcus Davis, Jorge Rivera and Gabriel Gonzaga are just a few of the talented fighters who hail from the region and would more than likely be featured on the card.
And remember that company president Dana White is from "Southie," which means that he would certainly pull out all the stops to ensure that his first-ever trip home would be unforgettable.