Maple Leafs, rejoice!
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will make its long awaited Toronto debut with UFC 131 at the Rogers Centre on April 30, 2011.
The announcement was made by company President Dana White and Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright in a press conference at the Air Canada Centre (via Toronto Sun).
The province of Ontario has long been opposed to mixed martial arts. However, the UFC remained undaunted, even going so far as to open an office in Toronto earlier this year.
Largely due to the efforts of the world's largest fight promotion, Ontario brought word in August they would allow MMA. It didn't take long for an announcement of a date for the organization to hold their first show there.
White commented on what he expects to be a "massive" event:
"Finally. This January, it will have been 10 years that we've (parent company Zuffa, LLC) owned the UFC. Throughout my career, there have been some memorable events. I have a feeling that this will be the most memorable event of my career."
Not only will they be holding an event in Toronto, they will also bring a Fan Expo to town that weekend.
O Canada, indeed.
While White is excited at the idea of having "Rush" compete in Toronto, he says, "Georges St. Pierre is loved here and all over the world, but we have a ton of stars."
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more information on the UFC's debut in Toronto.