From m1pui on Flickr.
While legislation sanctioning mixed martial arts in Pennsylvania was successfully passed last summer, the sport’s future in the state has been put on hold in recent months due to the required review of the proposed rules and regulations by the state’s various House and Senate Committees among other governing bodies.
However speculation has increased lately that the state may be preparing to give the sport an official go-ahead later this year. When contacted by MMA on Tap, Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission executive director Greg Sirb stated that the review is going extremely well and fans could potentially see the first official event in the state before the new year.
“The review has been going very well and we have yet to experience any problems,” Sirb said. “I still estimate final approval around November or December and the first official event could be put on shortly after that.”
As Sam Caplan and myself can attest, the state has become a hotbed for MMA in recent years, especially in the Philadelphia area, where a handful of gyms have begun to gain serious recognition in the sport. One can already assume that the UFC likely has interest in coming to Philly but Sirb himself can confirm that many of the major organizations out there have contacted the PSAC about holding a future event, including Dana White and company.
“I’ve heard from almost every major MMA promoter, including the UFC,” Sirb stated. “They’ve expressed interest in coming to a handful of cities and Philadelphia is obviously one of them. The amount of interest we’ve garnered already has been remarkable. I really feel Pennsylvania will become a major player in the sport in terms of attracting events.”
To hear that the review is going very smoothly makes me happy as hell. I fully believe that Philadelphia and Pittsburgh could easily become once-a-year stops for the UFC and other major events just as the state of Ohio has become over the last year or so. While it’d probably be better for a good amount of smaller shows to be held once everything is officially finalized, the fan in me would much rather see a major event come sooner than later.
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