History has been made.

Earlier today the UFC announced they are heading to Melbourne, Australia for the first time in company history to bring fight fans everywhere UFC 193. While no venue was announced, the UFC had been teasing the 50,000 seat Etihad Stadium could very hold the event.

This announcement may not seem so historic but one must remember it comes after the State of Victoria Labor Government overturned the ban of mixed martial arts from taking place inside, which obviously meant no UFC Octagon. The Honourable John Eren, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Major Events made it official during a press conference earlier this morning.

“This is a major milestone for mixed martial arts in Victoria, which will allow the sport to flourish while at the same time better protecting its competing athletes,” stated Tom Wright, UFC Executive Vice-President and General Manager, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

“Just like a jockey needs a horse or a tennis player needs a racquet or a V8 driver needs a car – mixed martial artists, UFC fighters need the Octago,” added Sydney’s own Mark Hunt, whom is widely considered the most popular fighter from Australia. “It’s our tool for competition – to make competition fair and safe. I’m excited that the UFC can now come to Melbourne and trust me, I want to be there competing to make sporting history.”

UFC 193 is expected to take place Sunday, November 15, 2015 in Australia, which means it will be broadcast live in North America on Saturday, November 14.

For a complete list of quotes from other Australia based fighters regarding the lifting of the ban please see below. (All quotes supplied by the UFC via press release)

Robert Whittaker (13-4, fighting out of Sydney)

“This progress in Melbourne is an amazing opportunity for the Australian MMA community. The UFC is already bringing more events to Australia and this new destination opens up more opportunities for aspiring mixed martial artists. As a MMA fighter myself, it would be an honour and privilege to compete in Melbourne and make history!”

Vik Grujic (7-5, fighting out of Melbourne)

“MMA in Melbourne will no longer fall behind the rest of the world because of ignorance.”

Kyle Noke (fighting out of Albuquerque, USA via Dubbo, Australia)

“We now finally get the chance to fight in front of a home crowd in the sporting capital of Australia. This is a dream come true for me and the rest of the UFC competitors representing Australia around the world.”

Daniel Kelly (9-0 fighting out of Melbourne)

“It’s only fitting to have the fastest growing sport in the world in the sporting capital of Australia. Personally it would be a dream to compete in the UFC in my hometown.”

Brendan O’Reilly (5-1-1, fighting out of Brisbane)

“This is a momentous occasion for the sport of MMA in Victoria, Australia and the growth of the UFC worldwide. Melbourne has some of the most passionate sports fans in the world, and I can’t wait to fight in the UFC Octagon in front of a live Victorian audience.”

Soa Palelei (22-4, fighting out of Perth)

“Being able to fight in the UFC is a dream come true. Being able to compete in Australia is the icing on the cake. I’m extremely proud to be Australian and being able to do what I love for my country is truly gratifying. With Melbourne now able to host the UFC, I can see MMA growing immensely and I cannot wait till Perth also gets on board.”

Richie Vaculik (10-4, fighting out Sydney)

“So good to hear that finally the Victorian government has come to its senses and allowed MMA to be performed in its safest environment: the Octagon. I can’t wait to be a part of a spectacular UFC event in Melbourne.”

Alex Chambers (4-2, fighting out of Sydney)

“Fantastic news that the ban will no longer remain in Victoria for MMA bouts inside a fenced-in enclosure. There was a big misconception about what was actually banned, which I feel has hindered MMA in Australia although the sport was always legal. A really great day for all MMA athletes and fans, not just in Victoria but all of Australia”

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.