UFC to make its Perth debut on February 11

THE Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will make its Perth debut next year, with New Zealand-born middleweight Robert Whittaker to headline.

The pay-per-view event, UFC 221, will take place on February 11 at Perth Arena.

Whittaker will take on the winner of this Sunday’s clash between England’s Michael Bisping and Canadian Georges St Pierre.

Up to 8000 interstate and overseas visitors are expected, worth $7.25 million to the WA economy.

“More than 15,000 fans will pack Perth Arena for this long anticipated event,” Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said.

“The McGowan Government worked swiftly to lift the ban on MMA enclosures, having listened to experts who clearly outlined why it’s safer than fighting in an open boxing ring.

“Not only will this event be great for tourism and local jobs, UFC 221 will be embraced by WA’s own 40,000 registered fans – the third biggest UFC supporter base in Australia.

“The 56 million UFC social media fans will also see our State showcased in the lead up to the fight – giving Perth and WA unprecedented exposure.”