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September 30, 2009

Illinois to Host Nationally Televised Mixed Martial Arts Event
State Athletic Commission’s regulatory framework and local MMA fan base draw the best mixed martial arts competitors to the State

CHICAGO – With uniform rules and regulation enacted to safeguard the health and safety of contestants and protect the integrity of mixed martial arts (MMA) events, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR) will be regulating the event and expects that the November 7, 2009 nationally televised MMA event at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates will continue to raise the State’s profile for future mixed martial arts matches.

The fight between Russian heavyweight Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko, who is the #1-ranked heavyweight MMA fighter in the world, and undefeated American heavyweight Brett “The Grimm” Rogers will air in primetime nationally at 8 p.m. CST on CBS.

“Like the Olympics push, we’re confident that a network TV broadcast— featuring the world’s top-ranked MMA heavyweights—will underscore how Illinois has become a premier destination for sports entertainment and tourism,” said Brent E. Adams, Acting Secretary of  Financial and Professional Regulation, which covers the Illinois State Athletic Commission.
The event will be promoted by Strikeforce, a leader in mixed martial arts event promotions. The telecast marks the primetime network television debut for the San Jose, Calif.-based promoter.

“We are very excited about bringing this highly anticipated heavyweight fight, featuring the number one MMA fighter in the world, to the state of Illinois,” said Scott Coker, CEO of Strikeforce. “Chicago is a magnificent city with a rich history and we are looking forward to making our debut there with a world-class Strikeforce and M-1 Global fight card.”

Illinois had previously hosted the UFC, WEC, Adrenaline, Bellator and EliteXC, which attracted fans from Illinois and surrounding states.

Illinois athletics officials expect that the Emelianenko vs. Rogers main event will draw enough fans to potentially sell out the Sears Centre Arena’s nearly 12,000 seats. Tickets for the November 7th bouts are priced from $35 up to $500 for ringside seats. With thousands of spectators, more than 100 participants, including referees, judges and fighters gathering at the Sears Center, the state expects significant revenues to be generated that will benefit Illinoisans. 

Recognizing that the key component to maintaining the integrity and safety of MMA as a sport is having well trained, certified and ultimately expert officials such as referees and judges, the Illinois Athletic Commission is planning to conduct a training session for MMA officials. This two-day training session will take place on November 7th and 8th also in Hoffman Estates.  For more information on this training seminar, please contact Ron Puccillo or Joel Campuzano at (312) 814-2721.

Complete copies of the Professional Boxing Act and Rules can be found at the following links:

Professional Boxing Act

Administrative Rules



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