The MMA world can breathe a sigh of relief: The Ultimate Fighting Championship will return to Boston after all.
On Tuesday morning, I passed along a report from the Boston Herald that stated that the UFC's first trip back to Boston since Aug. 28, 2010 was in danger of cancellation due to an issue with foreign-born fighters not meeting a state law that requires a social security card in order to work in the state.
The Massachusetts law has been in place since the sport was first legalized in 2009. Under the rules, state officials are not allowed to issue a fighter's license without a social security card. That poses a problem for fighters such as Mauricio Rua, Thiago Alves, Yuri Alcantara and Akira Corrassani, all of whom are currently scheduled to appear on the Boston card, and all of whom would not be able to do so without a social security card.
If you're a fan in Boston who is considering tickets (or perhaps you've already purchased them), never fear: UFC officials revealed in a statement Tuesday night that their plans to bring Chael Sonnen vs. Shogun Rua to the commonwealth are going forward.
There were some questions that surfaced regarding licensing requirements for mixed martial artists and boxers to have social security numbers in order to compete in the state of Massachusetts. Last week, these requirements were brought to UFC’s attention and we immediately began working to ensure that all athletes affected by this are in full compliance. We are continuing to work on this and anticipate a positive outcome
I suppose that's not exactly a proclamation of a full and complete resolution to the ongoing issue, but it does appear that the UFC is diligently working on securing temporary social security numbers for Rua, Alves, Alcantara and the rest of the foreign-born stars slated to appear on the card.
The fighters must wait out a 10-day grace period before they can receive their temporary cards, but there's still plenty of time left before all pre-fight paperwork must be submitted to the commonwealth.
Have no fear, Boston fans: Your chance to see Irish wrecking machine Conor McGregor—who says he'll be the next Anderson Silva by the time he's 30 years old—is still right around the corner, and you won't be stuck with a less-than-stellar main event after you've already purchased some expensive tickets for you and five of your closest friends.