London to Play Host to First Non-UFC Show in Ontario


John Labatt Centre. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Let the flood gates open.

Today, Jones Entertainment Group graced the John Labatt Centre to announce they’ve secured licenses to host three separate mixed martial arts events in Ontario.

The first, which will be titled ‘MMA Live 1’, will take place at the John Labatt Centre in London on May 19, 2011. Other dates confirmed were Saturday, July 2 at the Sudbury Arena in Sudbury and Thursday, October 20 at a venue to be determined.

“We are thrilled to have been licensed by the Ontario Government to promote 3 large scale MMA fights across Ontario in 2011 – the first one being here in London, at the JLC on May 19th,” said JEG President Brad Jones. “We’re making a promise to MMA fans that these events will be world-class. With the highest caliber of fighters, superior production (sound, lighting and video) and taking place in top-notch venues.”

Aside from Toronto, London is a logical destination for prospective promoters as the city is home to the John Labatt Centre, a 9,000 seat venue, but more importantly is host to a large student demographic.

After years of negative feedback regarding MMA, the government had a sudden change of heart in August and passed legislation to legalize the sport. One of the main reasons was the potential economic gains associated with hosting shows run by the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

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