Ever since mixed martial arts finally won its long-standing battle for legalisation in New York State back in March, many of the top MMA organisations have shown interest in The Big Apple for potential events.
The UFC is slated to hold their debut NYC show in November, with pay-per-view UFC 205 headed for the historic Madison Square Garden (MSG.)
However, North American promotion World Series of Fighting (WSOF) have added their name to the mix, declaring their interest to host a card at MSG on New Year’s Eve.
Made public during Saturday’s WSOF 32 card on NBCSN, the promotion announced that they intend to bring a ‘star-studded, championship fight series to Madison Square Garden’ on December 31.
The WSOF 36 event; which will require the approval of the New York State Athletic Commission, will also be broadcast live on NBC – only the second WSOF event to air live on the channel.
World Series of Fighting CEO Carlos Silva expressed his delight for the planned New Year’s Eve showcase during the WSOF 32 telecast on NBCSN.
He said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring our exciting, world championship live event series to The Big Apple, where fans have been anxiously waiting for years, for live, professional MMA action to be able to happen in their city.
“We have been working diligently, with the staff at the New York State Athletic Commission as well as the executives at Madison Square Garden to complete all of the necessary steps to make this historic and great event happen on New Year’s Eve.”
The New Year’s Eve concept was popularised during the 2000s in Japan by promotions PRIDE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS and K-1. The biggest events of the year would often be held on NYE, utilising the enormous structures of the Saitama Super Arena and Osaka Dome to draw in crowds of up to 50,000 fans.
In 2005, the K-1 PREMIUM Dynamite!! show headlined by Norifumi Yamamoto and Genki Sudo drew 53,000 to the Osaka Dome. Yamamoto would win the MMA fight in the first round, through a TKO stoppage.
New Year’s Eve MMA events have yet to find wider scale popularity in the United States, but WSOF’s grand ambitions for The Big Apple could change that.
Fights have yet to be announced for the New Year’s Eve extravaganza, but the press release indicated that World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo is currently working in the card.