The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world's largest mixed martial arts promotion company, is officially coming to Winnipeg on June 15.
In its Winnipeg debut, the UFC will bring its famed octagon and the UFC 161 show to the MTS Centre. At a press conference in Winnipeg on Tuesday, the UFC announced tickets will go on sale to the general public on April 12.
UFC newsletter subscribers will be able to take advantage of a special internet pre-seale on April 11 while UFC Fight Club members will be able to purchase tickets on April 10. Fans can go to UFC.com or ufcfightclub.com for more pre-sale information.
The full UFC 161 card and more ticket information, including prices, are expected to be announced in coming weeks.
UFC President Dana White told USA TODAY Sports that the main card will feature a rematch between Brazilian veterans Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira while former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans could take on face ex-Strikeforce titleholder Dan Henderson, who is waiting for medical clearance. MMAjunkie.com reported a welterweight bout between Jake Shields and Tyron Woodley is also expected.
Giuseppe DeNatale, who promoted seven Canadian Fighting Championship events in Winnipeg in 2009-2011, said having UFC 161 in Winnipeg is a big step locally for the sport.
"It’s great for the city and great for the sport of mixed martial arts. Everyone locally has been waiting for the UFC to come here for many years," said DeNatale, a former fighter who is the owner and head instructor at the Canadian Fighting Centre. "It’s going to expose more people to the sport of MMA. It puts Winnipeg on the map, especially with the pay-per-view."
The UFC produces more than 30 live events around the world annually and is the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world.
A press release stated the events in the Canadian cities collectively have had more than 200,000 fans in attendance, a cumulative gross gate of almost $50 million and millions more in direct economic impact.
UFC 161 will be available live on Pay-Per-View at on UFC.TV, iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH Network, Avail-TVN, and in Canada on BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $49.99 for Standard Definition and $59.99 for High Definition.