UFC officials announced on Monday that they are moving forward with plans for a 2016 event in New York City.
Set for April 23 from Madison Square Garden, the promotion promises to feature top champions defending their belt in the first-ever pro MMA event.
“We believe fight fans have waited long enough to experience live UFC events in the state of New York and we are thrilled to announce our first event at Madison Square Garden,” UFC Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein said. “Professional MMA is legal around of the world and it is about time New York followed suit.”
The UFC has been working hard to legalize the sport in New York. They filed a new case in September in federal court, stating that the ban is unconstitutional. They are planning to ask a federal judge to issue a preliminary injunction against New York state officials.
UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman is a New York native, along with former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Several top fighters also hail from the state.