'Major milestone': MMA legalized in Victoria, Australia

The Australian Labor Government, for the State of Victoria, issued a directive that formally legalizes fenced-in enclosures for professional MMA fights in its jurisdiction as of Wednesday.

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“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, UFC executive vice-president and GM for Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Prior to the ruling, any combat events in Victoria were conducted in a boxing ring, which isn't designed with MMA in mind.

There were a number of Australians fighters who heralded the decision to allow MMA into the state located in southeast region of the island nation.

UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt is all on board for the decision.

“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,” the No. 5 ranked heavyweight said. “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.”

With the new legislation, the company announced UFC 193, a pay-per-view event set for November 2015 in Melbourne.

“We now finally get the chance to fight in front of a home crowd in the sporting capital of Australia,” said welterweight fighter Kyle Noke. “This is a dream come true for me and the rest of the UFC competitors representing Australia around the world.”

Prior to that, Adelaide will host UFC Fight Night: Miocic vs. Hunt at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on May 10.

UFC events aren't new to Australia. Sydney and Brisbane have hosted events in the past, but this will be the first event in the State of Victoria.

HOW ABOUT THOSE ODDS

The Cat Zingano victory at UFC 184 is yet another decisive win for Ronda Rousey.

What more is left to be said about the best women's welterweight the company might ever see?

Friend of UFC Joe Rogan went as far to say that Rousey could possibly beat half the men in the bantamweight division.

With that in mind -- and despite the fact men versus women fights are illegal in any UFC regulated territory -- an online betting sports book is laying 25/1 odds Rousey will step into the ring for a “UFC sanctioned event” with a man before Dec. 31, 2016.

A BIG PURSE?

UFC flyweight title holder Demetrious Johnson recently brought up the idea that fighting bantamweight champ T.J Dillashaw would be an excellent pursuit.

Of course, a $2-million dollar purse wouldn't hurt either.

The bantamweight waited some time to issue a response but, as expected, he's all in for the idea. Of course, he would have to cut around 10 pounds to make weight in the flyweight division.

“I could definitely go lower (than bantamweight)," Dillashaw told MMAjunkie. "I feel like it's very easy for me to fight at 135 (pounds). I like it that way. I don't want to cut too much weight. I want to keep my speed because that's a huge advantage for me. I could always cut a little weight."

Before that idea germinates into the seed of reality there is the matter of title bouts for both fighters.

Johnson will defend his title for the sixth time against Kyoji Horiguchi while Dillashaw defends his against Renan Barao in a rematch from UFC 173, where Dillashaw won by fifth-round TKO to grab the bantamweight belt.

Both fighters will be in action at UFC 186 on April 25 from the Bell Centre in Montreal.

BYE-BYE TIME

The company has released eight fighters from their contracts.

According to MMAFighting, Brian Bowles, Stanislav Nedkov, Andy Ogle, Akira Corassani, Humberto Brown, Rodolfo Rubio, Juan Puig and Tim Gorman have been shown the door.

Bowles might be the most famous, or infamous of the lot.

In his last UFC fight, the bantamweight tested positive for elevated testosterone levels following a second-round TKO loss to George Roop at UFC 160 in 2013.

Bowles, who opened his UFC career with a submission win over Damacio Page in 2011, was arrested on drug charges this past January.

QUICK HITS

Rafael dos Anjos has some respect for Anthony Pettis, but not that much. “He's a good fighter, but I just think he's not unbeatable," dos Anjos said. "We are on the top of the division, and whoever makes a mistake that night is going to pay for it."... Bellator MMA filed a lawsuit trying to prevent one-time tournament winner Quinton Jackson from fighting in the UFC. Bellator is looking for “Rampage” to honour his contract. Jackson signed a six-fight deal in 2013 but, according to Bellator, the heavyweight bolted for the UFC after only three fights. “We look forward to having one of our MMA stars fighting for (us) again,” a Bellator release stated.



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