The UFC announced their plans to come to Western Australia. It looks as if UFC 221 will take place in Perth and Robert Whittaker is hoping to be on the card. The interim middleweight champion expressed his desire to unify the title on the February 11, card.
According to UFC.com:
“After years of anticipation, Australia’s west coast will welcome the Octagon for the very first time, as UFC 221, presented by TAB, finds a home in Perth, Western Australia. Perth Arena will host the Pay-Per-View event on Sunday, February 11 with a ‘to be determined’ fight card featuring the best local and international mixed martial artists.
‘I’ve always loved Australia.’ UFC President Dana White said.’The fans and energy are fantastic but most importantly we seem to have some of the greatest fights there. My job is to put on the best fights in the world and this is a place that never disappoints. I look forward to our first UFC event in Perth next year and hope to entertain the fans once again.’
UFC’s first event in Perth, Western Australia is made possible by the support of the Government of Western Australia, which is sponsoring the event after recently overhauling the state’s regulation for MMA bouts. Previously, MMA competitions in the state of Western Australia were required to be conducted in boxing rings, which were never designed for MMA competitions. UFC uses a unique octagon-shaped fenced-in enclosure, now sanctioned in Western Australia, which prevents athletes from falling out of the structure or becoming entangled in the ropes as could occur with a boxing ring.
UFC interim middleweight champion and Australia’s first ever UFC champion Robert Whittaker was on-hand for today’s announcement in Perth, adding: ‘This isn’t just huge news for UFC, but for the sport of MMA in Western Australia. Finally, MMA can be competed nation-wide in the field of play specifically designed for the sport.’
‘Anything can happen between now and Sunday, February 11. With that said, fighting on home soil is always a dream come true and I’d love to unify the UFC middleweight title here in Australia. My next stop is New York City to be Octagon side for UFC 217 – let’s see what happens in that main event between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre.'”
I guess it remains to be seen what happens, but we can expect some young Australian talent to be on the card. It would also be huge for the UFC to have Whittaker on the card unifying the belt in his home country. Australia has always been good to the UFC and I suspect the Perth card won’t be any different.