UFC Can't Host Event In Melbourne Due To Octagon

The UFC's plans to take the show back to Australia for an event in Melbourne look like they've come to an end. It appears that in the state of Victoria, it's illegal to hold MMA events in a cage rather than a ring.

Via the Sydney Morning Herald:

And while the UFC would like nothing better than to book a date for a Melbourne event, it is unable to while the government refuses to allow MMA bouts to be held in cages.

In the UFC, bouts are held inside the "Octagon" - an eight-side cage. In Victoria, MMA bouts can be sanctioned if held in a boxing ring, but are not allowed to take place in a cage.

Speaking in Melbourne yesterday during a promotional tour for the Sydney event, the UFC's Managing Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik questioned whether the Victorian Government was more concerned about negative perceptions surrounding "cage fighting" than it was about the safety of the fighters themselves.

"The government has authorised that mixed martial arts can take place [in a ring] - the issue seems to be the Octagon," Mr Zelaznik said.

"The ropes [of a boxing ring] don't protect the fighters enough ... what you always have happen is a fighter will slip through the ropes - hopefully they don't fall - but we have video that we've submitted to the government about how unsafe it is when fighters are actually falling through these ropes and are hurting themselves.

This is clearly all about image as there isn't exactly any data that would suggest a ring is safer than a cage, quite the opposite actually. But there are still plenty of people in the world who look at two men fighting inside of a cage and can't help but think of it as far more barbaric than men in a ring.

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