The UFC’s return to Boston is no longer in jeopardy.
According to UFC President Dana White, company officials have “straightened out” issues regarding foreign-born fighters without Social Security numbers being unable to compete on the Aug. 17 UFC on Fox Sports 1 card.
The fight promoter spoke with BostonHerald.com in a story published today, Sunday, and ensured that the Massachusetts state law disallowing fighters without proper documentation from licensure is no longer a problem.
“The fights will happen,” White told the newspaper’s website. “We ended up getting everything straightened out.”
As reported by GRACIEMAG.com, the UFC initially attempted overcoming this hurdle by asking the state’s Department of Public Safety (DPS), the government body overseeing the event, by asking for a one-time exception to the law. Terrell Harris, a spokesman for the DPS, told the Herald that no such exception would be given, and that the UFC is bound to the same rules as any other promotion looking to feature MMA contests in the state.
“This law has been in existence since we legalized mixed martial arts in the commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Harris said weeks prior. “It’s been brought to the attention of the UFC more than a few times since we legalized the fighting here. But they’ve chosen basically to ignore the law and hope that they could skirt it somehow.”
Due to the law, the UFC would have to consider alternative locations to host the card if steps to securing the necessary documents for their fighters weren’t taken. White, however, said his company has faced problems like this in the past. Although they considered moving the card’s location, White said, the UFC’s immigration department made it so they wouldn’t have to do such a thing.
“When that starts happening, it’s like ‘Yeah, maybe we can’t do the fight here,’” White said. “But, you know, we figured it out.”
UFC on Fox Sports 1 #1 takes place at Boston’s TD Garden, and features a main event between Brazil’s Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Chael Sonnen.