This week just got crazy for me, now that I'm covering the announcement that UFC 161 is coming to Winnipeg. My conditioning circuits got put on hold for a couple hours just to get to the press conference.
Here is what is confirmed as of this morning in Winnipeg, by Tom Wright.
The date for this event to be held at the MTS Center is June 15, 2013.
Tickets are available to the public Friday, April 12, with Fight Club pre-sale on the April 10. You can sign up now for those pre-sale tickets.
The only fight that Wright would confirm was Mauricio (Shogun) Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. This is a rematch over seven years in the making and a great fight for fans of the sport.
Wright also said that they will put a title fight on the card. Of course, that's subject to change due to injury, as are all fights. We don't know which title is on the line, just that as this is a pay-per-view, and the UFC will keep with tradition and put a title fight on it.
Jim Ludlow and Kevin Donnelly were both present at the announcement. Jim is President and CEO of True North Sports and Entertainment, Kevin is Senior VP and General Manager of the MTS Center. All parties involved need to be thanked for bringing to Winnipeg an actual pay-per-view.
Downtownwinnipegbiz.com and Economic Development Winnipeg, have been hard at work for years to make sure we will be ready to show the world a great time, no matter the event. Now with the audience UFC gets, this truly will be worldwide and a chance for Winnipeg to show it's ready to compete on an international market.
My hope is that this is going to grow the sport, and the fitness of MMA in Winnipeg. We have a lot of solid local talent, and this UFC pay-per-view should bring attention to that. That awareness is critical to the growth of the sport.
Wright mentioned exactly that in his address to the media today. It is their mandate at UFC to expose the sport to as many markets as possible. Winnipeg's show makes Manitoba the fifth province to hold a UFC event.
The fact that UFC is taking the time to grow new markets shows a dedication to the sport. I am so proud that the MTS Center and True North saw the value in bringing MMA and the UFC to Winnipeg. Wright cited a study they had done for UFC Toronto. They brought in $35-million to Toronto during their week-long fight promo and night of fights. That is what the UFC will bring with a large card to Winnipeg Manitoba.
A big thank you is needed for the province of Manitoba, which made this easy for the UFC, They understand that not all people are fond of the sport, but it will bring a surge in finances to the city and put us on a world ide stage.
I look forward to having Dana White here to promote the city to the world. I am confident we can show the UFC what a great MMA city we have. It's time to get to work Winnipeg, we hit the big time.
More info this Saturday Morning on TSN 1290 at 11:30 with me on “The Weigh In”.
Jordan Cieciwa can be heard on TSN Radio 1290 every Saturday at 11:30am ct with his show The Weigh-In. You can also follow Jordan at www.twitter.com/FitCityJordan and get all your fitness tips at www.onefitcity.com.