The UFC announced on Monday at a press conference in Toronto that the company will open a corporate international office in Canada's largest city.
The move comes as the UFC is mired in an almost-two-year ongoing battle to have the sport of MMA sanctioned in the province of Ontario. This will be the UFC's second international office, as one was opened in London two years ago to grow the sport in Great Britain.
Heading up the UFC's Canadian international office will be Tom Wright. Wright was the commissioner of the CFL from 2002 to 2007 and has also worked as President for Adidas Canada and Salomon North America.
Wright expressed at the press conference that the goal of the international office in Toronto will not only be to get MMA sanctioned but to also help with Canadian licensing, public relations, marketing, setting up a UFC Gym, and giving back to the community.
UFC President Dana White has long referred to Canada as being the "mecca of MMA." When asked if fans could expect a live event in Ontario sometime soon, White said that they were doing all they can.
"We've done incredibly successful events in the places that we have been sanctioned, and this is an incredibly important market," White said. "It's probably overdue that we did this. Toronto is our second biggest market and we need to be here."
Wright's role will be as the Director of UFC Canada, and he said that his goal will be to hold three events in Canada each year. He said that the Canadian international office will be up and running within the next month.
There was an online rumour that the UFC had booked March 26, 2011, at the Rogers Centre to hold an event, but Dana White would not confirm that when asked about it at the Toronto press conference.
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