UFC in Australia has been a limited enterprise due to one of its most populated states, Victoria, having a ban which prevented any MMA bout from taking place in a cage (they do allow it in a ring). Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, is the hot spot and social hub of Victoria, making it a prime target for Zuffa's global expansion project. The obvious problem with that pesky little law is the UFC's trademarked fighting platform is the Octagon, making an event in Melbourne unlikely until changes can be made.
That ban was overturned yesterday by the State of Victoria Labor Government, so of course the organization wasted no time booking UFC 193 in Melbourne, which takes place on Sunday, November 15, but will air in the U.S. on Saturdqay, November 14 due to the time difference. MMA Junkie spoke with UFC Executive Vice-President and General Manager, Tom Wright, who commented,
"This is a major milestone for mixed martial arts in Victoria, which will allow the sport to flourish while at the same time better protecting its competing athletes."
To date, there have been five UFC events in Australia and one in New Zealand. The next card, set for Fight Night 65, takes place sometime in May in Adelaide. The card has several fights booked already and so far, looks like this:
- Mark Hunt vs. Stipe Miocic
- Brad Tavares vs. Robert Whittaker
- Sean O'Connell vs. Anthony Perosh
- Jake Matthews vs. James Vick
- Seohee Ham vs. Bec Rawlings
- Kyle Noke vs. Andreas Stahl
- Dylan Andrews vs. Brad Scott
- Alex Chambers vs. Kailin Curran
- Vik Grujic vs. Brendan O'Reilly
- Hatsu Hioki vs. Daniel Hooker
As always, Bloody Elbow will keep our readers updated on this story as more information becomes available.