Marc Ratner: UFC event in Boston is not in jeopardy

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC show on Aug. 17 at the TD Garden in Boston is happening, according to UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner. An article in the Boston Herald on Tuesday indicated the event was in jeopardy.

"The show will definitely be taking place," said Ratner, who noted he was working on the paperwork issue that the newspaper wrote about. He was trying to get all fighters on the show, who are not American citizens, social security numbers before the show takes place.

Ratner said that no other state requires fighters who are not American citizens to have social security numbers, and the UFC was not required to get them for non-citizens when it first ran an event in Boston in 2010.

To get a social security number, a fighter must have a visa, which many of he foreign fighters on the card already have. All fighters would have needed visas before fight time, but the UFC's immigration department is going to have to speed up the process for the few that don't. Fighters have to have visas for 10 days before they can get a Social Security number.

The event, which takes place as the main sports event on the first day of the debut of Fox Sports 1, is headlined by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Chael Sonnen, Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne and Urijah Faber vs. Yuri Alcantara.

The Herald story, quoting Terrell Harris, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety, which regulates MMA, said the law had been in existence since the state started regulating the sport in 2010.

"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 is somehow," he said.

He said the UFC petitioned to get an exemption for the Aug. 17 show.

"But the law is the law," he said. "The law doesn't allow us to make exceptions."

The UFC on Tuesday sent out a release noting tickets were going on sale for the show on that day to Fight Club members, and will go on sale to the public on Thursday.

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