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Source: QMI agency

http://eedition.toronto.24hrs.ca/epaper/viewer.aspx

Company president Dana White and co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta announced the opening of the first Canadian UFC offices Tuesday, with former CFL commissioner Tom Wright heading up the Toronto branch of the mixed-martialarts organization.

“After my family, the most important things — my passions — are sports and my country,” Wright said during a press conference at the Rogers Centre. “The UFC has a very aggressive global expansion plan and it’s great to be a part of the second international office after London (England).”

White said he knew quickly that Wright, commissioner of the CFL from 2002 to 2006, was the right man for the job.

“His record speaks for itself,” White said, adding that Wright is a respected business and community leader who has also been president of Adidas Canada. “He’s a great guy. He’s the guy to lead the charge up here.”

Business will begin for the Toronto branch next month, but the UFC has yet to name a location for its Canadian headquarters. Wright will also be tasked with staffing the office, which is expected to open with roughly 15 employees.

Though MMA is not sanctioned in Ontario, Wright said lobbying the provincial government is his top priority.

“This is a process and it takes time,” Wright said. “It’s not always consistent time. Depending on the state or province it can take more time. But ultimately the goal is to make a commitment to the entire country and to build a business and brand here.

“We will continue to have those conversations (with the government) and ultimately it ’s the best th ing for our sport.”



co-0wner Lorenzo Fertitta addresses the media Tuesday in Toronto.
 
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