UTICA- The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is making its way to Utica. For the first time in New York State history UFC Fight Night is coming to the Adirondack Bank Center on Friday June 1st.
“To be able to put our foot down and get the foot print of Utica on the map is remarkable,” said Adam Pawlick Vice President of the Utica Comets.
Local MMA owner/trainer of Mohawk Valley MMA, Duff Holmes said, “It’s a huge deal for the sport but it is a bigger deal for the fighters of New York.”
Holmes who has trained numerous UFC fighters such as Matt “The Hammer” Hamill, told WKTV this event is huge for his local fighters.
“The UFC is here and when they come to town they want to put some local guys on the under card,” said Holmes. “If they get in, get a win, they get a contract.”
It has been a long time since the State of New York has seen MMA take place, after former governor George Pataki banned the sport in 1997. However, just two years ago Senator Joe Griffo made a push to bring the sport back.
“It has been a long time getting the UFC legalized,” said Griffo. “What we have here in Utica is great, Rob Esche runs a great organization and we knew they would choose the Adirondack Bank Center.”