The UFC held a press conference today inside the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. While the “major announcement” left many thoroughly disappointed, adding Tom Wright to their talented Octagon team will certainly broaden their footprint in Canada.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to grow as an individual,” an appreciative Wright stated.
Wright was the Commissioner of the Canadian Football League from 2002-2006, however decided against an extension when his contract expired in order to pursue other ventures. Prior to his successful stint with the CFL, Wright was the President of Adidas Canada and President and CEO of Salomon North America.
Needless to say, Wright was a no-brainer for the UFC to spearhead their soon-to-be opened Toronto office.
“Did you hear his resume? It doesn’t even seem possible this guy could work that many places. Canada is very important to us and so we had to go after someone serious. He is definitely the man to lead the charge for us up here,” president Dana White said of Wright’s vast accomplishments.
“There’s no doubt he’s the man to lead the charge. He’s going to get it done ASAP.”
While most fans were hoping the UFC would announce a 2011 event inside the 44,000-seat arena that hosted today’s presser, Wright reiterated that Toronto has still not committed to sanctioning mixed martial arts. Although, it should only be a matter of time now that a local has taken the reigns.
“We’ve had some preliminary conversations,” Wright said of Toronto’s governing body. “Really, just a continuation of the preliminary conversations that [the UFC] has had. We will continue to have those conversations. We actively want [the sport] regulated because its such an important thing for the safety of the athletes.
“We want regulation so we will continue to work diligently with the Ontario government and hopefully secure regulatory approval in the not-too-distant future.”
White said the Canadian office will operate much like the U.K. facility they opened in 2006. They intend to have 12-15 UFC employees, as well as many outside contractors assisting them in their quest for global domination.