The UFC will return to Australia on November 15th for the UFC 193 pay-per-view headlined by Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm. The promotion also headed "down under" for Fight Night: Miocic vs. Hunt in May, but the UFC have faced licensing difficulties with Australia in the past.
The latest resistance comes from Princess Margarat Hospital for Children in Western Australia. UFC heavyweight Soa Palelei was set to visit sick children in the hospital after representing the Make-A-Wish-Foundation, but was rejected from the premises because of the perceived violence accompanied with his profession.
The hospital made a statement to WAtoday.com on Friday:
"Following the significant media coverage of controversy surrounding UFC fighting, which is currently banned in Western Australia, a decision was made by the PMH executive that it would not be appropriate to have a representative of the sport visit the hospital. PMH has a duty of care to its patients, their families and staff. With many people in the community having very strong views about this particular sport, due to its perceived level of violence, and the fact it is banned in WA, executive staff felt this was the best decision at the time."
Palelei (22-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was stunned by the decision. The 38-year-old responded to WA Today yesterday.
"I was dumbfounded in a way," Palelei said. "You want me to do a 24-hour grind, put my body on the line for you, raise money for you guys, but you won't let me see the kids? It's disappointing. I can't go in there to see the kids."
Palelei last fought at UFC 190, where he was knocked out by Antonio "BigFoot" Silva in the second round.