Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (on Nov. 30th) signed a bill into law that regulates mixed martial arts in the “Bay State,” paving the way for the sport’s top brand, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and other promotions to host events in 2010 and beyond.
UFC President Dana White, a Boston-area native, has gushed for years about the possibility of promoting a show in “Beantown.” In fact, during the UFC 101 post-fight press conference he revealed his grand plans to stage a major event in the historic and beloved Fenway Park in mid to late 2010.
UFC officials stormed Massachusetts earlier this year, attempting to convince lawmakers that MMA regulation is good for them and the state economy … to the tune of $12.3 million in just one weekend.
The dog and pony show was apparently very effective — the bill breezed through the State Senate by a vote of 34-1. It then headed to the House Ways and Means Committee for additional consideration, where it sailed through by a vote of 144-10.
This is huge. Boston is the second most important media market on the east coast and the regulators in New York will be paying close attention. First New Jersey, then Philadelphia, Pennsylvania now Boston, Massachusetts. Next stop: New York, New York.
*This will be the 42nd state to regulate MMA*