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UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia official with cage ban lifted

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

There are big things happening Down Under.

The UFC announced Tuesday it will be bringing a pay-per-view, UFC 193, to Melbourne, Australia on Nov. 14 following a cage ban in the state of Victoria being lifted. The event has long been reported, but now it is official.

UFC 193 will take place Nov. 15 locally and Nov. 14 in North America live on PPV. There has not been a UFC pay-per-view held in Australia since UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch on Feb. 27, 2011 in Sydney.

Before now, the Octagon was banned in Victoria. Any MMA contests had to be conducted in a boxing ring. The new law was announced at a press conference Tuesday held by John Eren, the state's Minster for Sport, Tourism and Major Events.

When the Labor Party was elected into power last year, the UFC figured it was only a matter of time before the Octagon was allowed in the state. It just needed to pass into law and now it has.

"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," said Tom Wright, the UFC's executive vice president and general manager for Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Most significantly, it will allow the UFC to hold an event in Melbourne, the sporting capital of Australia that has been starving for a card for some time. Wright said last year that the event would be a stadium show and promised that one of the UFC's biggest stars -- like Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey or Conor McGregor -- would headline. No fights have been officially announced as of yet.

The UFC has held six live events in Australia since 2010. The three host cities of Sydney, Gold Coast and Brisbane have had a cumulative gross gate of more than $12 million with millions more in economic impact added, according to a UFC release.

UFC Fight Night 65 will be held May 10 in Adelaide, the first UFC event ever to come to the state of South Australia. New Zealand native and Sydney resident Mark Hunt will headline the card against fellow heavyweight contender Stipe Miocic. The show will air live on UFC Fight Pass.

Australia has obviously been a huge market for the UFC and the addition of Victoria is a big one.

"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 Octagon," Hunt said in a release. "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."

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