On the heels of political change in Victoria, Australia, the Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to hold a pay-per-view event in Melbourne in November 2015 that will feature at least one title fight.
The Daily Telegraph is reporting that UFC 193 will take place on Nov. 15 at Etihad Stadium, which seats more than 50,000 spectators. Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor are being considered to headline the event.
Mixed martial arts is legal in the state of Victoria, but under the previous Liberal government, competing inside a cage was banned. Over the weekend, the Victorian Labor party was elected to power and has vowed to change that, paving the way for the UFC to bring its Octagon to Melbourne.
Director of UFC Operations in Canada and Australia, Tom Wright, told the paper that at least one title fight, and maybe two, will be on the line for the fight promotion’s debut in Australia’s second largest city.
“We only get one chance to make a first impression,’’ Wright told The Daily Telegraph. “I remember when we first went into Toronto, Canada, and (UFC owner) Lorenzo Fertita said ‘this is going to be our Super Bowl.’ It’s the same with Melbourne. That will be our mandate.
“It’s why this card has to be headlined with a world title fight. We cannot do an event of this magnitude without putting a belt on the line.”
The Telegraph also reported that the fight card will likely feature New Zealand Heavyweight Mark Hunt and welterweight contender Hector Lombard. Hunt resides in Australia and Lombard, a Cuban, has spent extensive time in Australia.
“We want to give Australian fight fans the ultimate sports experience,” said Wright.