The promotion has contacted athletic commission officials in the state about holding a card on Jan. 11 in Northern Virginia, said Mary Broz-Vaughan, spokeswoman for Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, which includes the state’s boxing and wrestling program.
The event, which would likely be a UFC Fight Night installment, has not been finalized. Discussions are ongoing.
"We would be thrilled to host the UFC," Broz-Vaughan said.
Broz-Vaughan said she did not know which venue was being discussed for the event, but said the northern part of the state is under consideration. Northern Virginia is considered part of the Washington D.C. metro area.
Recent UFC signee Mike "The Joker" Guymon has been offered a welterweight bout against Canadian Rory MacDonald on the Jan. 11 card in Fairfax, Va., according to MixedMartialArts.com. Both fighters would be making their promotional debuts.
I'm sure they would be thrilled, but in my view anyone who is concerned about the ability of the commission to properly regulate MMA in the state should be apprehensive.
Keep in mind the UFC has formally announced nothing. I attempted to reach the UFC's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner via email to get a comment on the Easton vs. Beebe and Jose Villarisco situations, but at the time of this writing I have not received a response. If he does issue a comment, I'll be sure to let everyone know.
The upside here actually is Ratner and the potential hands-on oversight he brings. He'll likely work with the commission to make sure procedurally all of the t's are crossed and the i's are dotted. On top of that, it's not out of the realm of possibility the UFC will lean on the commission to bring in and license more experienced judges, referees and other commission officials from outside of the state. That's good for the fighters, the sport, the fans and the commission. If that were to occur, we could all breathe a little more easily.