The Ultimate Fighting Championship is officially headed to Melbourne for a pay-per-view event on Nov. 14.
The Las Vegas-based promotion confirmed the rumored show, which will be UFC 193, on Tuesday. No bouts were announced.
The UFC was able to finalize its plans once the State of Victoria Labor Government “executed a ministerial directive designed to increase safety within the sport of mixed martial arts by allowing the sport to be conducted in a much safer fenced-in enclosure,” according to a release. Previously, MMA events in Australia’s most second-most populous state were required to be held in boxing rings.
“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,” stated Tom Wright, the UFC’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The UFC has hosted six events in three cities -- Sydney, Gold Coast and Brisbane -- in Australia since 2010. Its next trip Down Under is scheduled for May 10, when Mark Hunt meets Stipe Miocic in the UFC Fight Night headliner in Adelaide, South Australia.
“Just like a jockey needs a horse or a tennis player needs a racquet or a V8 driver needs a car -- mixed martial artists, UFC fighters need the Octagon,” Hunt said in the release. “It’s our tool for competition -- to make competition fair and safe. I’m excited that the UFC can now come to Melbourne and trust me, I want to be there competing to make sporting history.”
Melbourne is Victoria’s capital city and the second-most populous city in Australia. It notably hosts tennis’ Australian open, horse racing’s Melbourne Cup and Formula One’s Australian Grand Prix.
“We now finally get the chance to fight in front of a home crowd in the sporting capital of Australia,” UFC veteran and Australia native Kyle Noke said. “This is a dream come true for me and the rest of the UFC competitors representing Australia around the world.”