by Nick Mecca

Mohawk Valley Garden CEO Robert Esche announced today that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is coming to the Adirondack Bank Center on Friday, June 1, for UFC Fight Night.

With the help of Senator Joe Griffo and Garden Entertainment, UFC will make their stop in Utica just over two years since mixed martial arts (MMA) became legal again in the state of New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill on April 14, 2016, with help from Griffo in facilitating the process. New York was the last of all 50 states to legalize MMA. The first fight in New York since legalization took place on November 16, 2016, at Madison Square Garden, with Connor McGregor victorious over Eddie Alvarez.   

“It is an honor to be able to host such a monumental event in such an historic building as the Adirondack Bank Center,” said CEO of MVG Robert Esche. “On the heels of the AHL All-Star Classic, the UFC announcement adds immensely to the momentum building at our venue.”

“We are pleased that the UFC has decided to bring an event to Utica and the Mohawk Valley,” said Senator Joe Griffo. “The Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium is an exceptional venue for this event.”

This event will be the seventh event in New York State since its legalization, and the first time UFC has ever come to Utica. 

After heated back-and-forth exchanges that have lit up social media, bantamweight stars Jimmie Rivera and "Magic” Marlon Moraes will finally settle their score in the Octagon, with the showdown set to headline the UFC's first visit to Utica, New York's Adirondack Bank Center on June 1. Also in action on the UFC Fight Night card is New York lightweight standout Gregor Gillespie, who puts his unbeaten record on the line against knockout artist Vinc Pichel.

Also scheduled is Walt Harris vs. Daniel Spitz in the heavyweight division and Hector Sandoval vs. Jarred Brooks in the flyweight division. In a women’s flyweight bout, Sijara Eubanks will take on Lauren Murphy.

The UFC Fight Night in Utica is expected to be televised on Fox Sports 1. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, April 6. Ticket prices will be announced in the coming weeks. 

About UFC®
UFC® is a premium global sports brand and the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. Acquired in 2016 by global sports, entertainment and fashion leader Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG), together with strategic partners Silver Lake Partners and KKR, UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas with a network of employees around the world. UFC produces more than 40 live events annually that consistently sell out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe, while programming is broadcast in over 163 countries and territories to more than 1.1 billion TV households worldwide in 35 different languages. UFC FIGHT PASS®, a digital subscription service, delivers exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content to fans around the world. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram: @UFC.