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Maggie Hendricks

UFC opens office in Canada, hires native son to lead efforts

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The UFC headed to Toronto on Tuesday to make a "MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT." In the past, the UFC's "MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS" have been sort of disappointing, but this is one that should make MMA fans north of the border quite happy.

The UFC is opening a Canadian office, just as it has one in the UK, to lead its efforts in Canada. It hired Tom Wright to not only help with Canadian events, but more importantly, get the sport legalized and regulated all over Canada.

Wright was once the head of the Canadian Football League, and was responsible for increasing television money and sponsorship for the league. He also served as the president of Adidas Canada and the Salomon Group.

More importantly, he's a native Canadian and has the connections to get the sport sanctioned and legal in all of the country's provinces. This isn't a brash American in Dana White telling lawmakers why MMA is good for Canada. This is a man that they already know pushing the sport.

MMA has hit some bumps in Ontario and British Columbia. UFC 115 was in doubt for a few days as Vancouver officials questioned the event's insurance, and MMA is still not regulated in Ontario. At the same time, some of the UFC's most successful events have taken place in Montreal, and the show in Vancouver sold out in under an hour. Adding a full-time Canadian presence will help the UFC push its Canadian efforts even more.

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