The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mixed martial arts promotion will stage an event on the west coast of Australia for the first time next year when Perth Arena hosts UFC 221.
The event will take place on February 11. The news comes after the Government of Western Australia recently amended its stance on MMA bouts, with competitions having previously been required to take place in boxing rings as opposed to the octagon-shaped rings of UFC.
The octagon-shaped fenced-in enclosure has now been sanctioned in Western Australia, clearing the way for the 15,500-seat Perth Arena to host the historic event next year. The fight card is still to be finalised but will feature local and international athletes.
UFC has presented 10 live events in Australia since 2010, with bouts having taken place at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Gold Coast Convention Centre.
Australia also holds the record for the largest MMA event in history, with 56,214 people having attended UFC 193 at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on November 15, 2015.
“I’ve always loved Australia,” UFC president Dana White said. “The fans and energy are fantastic but most importantly we seem to have some of the greatest fights there. My job is to put on the best fights in the world and this is a place that never disappoints. I look forward to our first UFC event in Perth next year and hope to entertain the fans once again.”