For the first time in its history, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will take over Broadway on November 12.
Blocks away from the bright lines of the Manhattan theaters and Times Square, the world’s foremost mixed martial arts organization will take its place at the pantheon of athletic prowess, Madison Square Garden, with UFC 205, and for New York and New Jersey-based fighters, an event of this magnitude has been a long time in the making.
“This is a dream come true,” said former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, a Baldwin, New York native. “We made it happen. I’m here. I’ve been envisioning this for so long, and we’re here right now. I can’t wait to come out here and fight in front of all you guys.
“First off, I’m so proud to be a New Yorker. I feel this energy. There’s nothing like New York, and you guys are showing it right now. You guys are unbelievable. This is an historic event, and I’m so happy to be here.”
Like Weidman, UFC featherweight Frankie “The Answer” Edgar will be on the card, and after fighting the fight along with the organization’s president, Dana White, to ensure a future for MMA in New York state, he considers it an honor to fight at “The Garden.”
“I mean it’s ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena,’” Edgar said. “Look at these fans! This is what it’s all about. It’s a lifelong dream to fight here. I’ve been lobbying with the UFC since 2010, so I deserve to be here, and I’m happy to put on a show for these guys.
“Fighting back in 2005 with no rules, no weight classes, throwing head butts, fighting in the Garden, man, it’s been a hell of a 12 years.”
Weidman has been out of action since dropping the middleweight title to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 in Las Vegas on December 12, 2015.
And after suffering his first professional MMA loss following back-to-back wins over Anderson Silva, as well as victories over former champions Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort, Weidman has his sights squarely focused on beating Yoel Romero and lining up a title shot in the near future.
“My goal is to go win this fight and go fight for the belt,” Weidman said. Hopefully, right here in Madison Square Garden again. Hopefully, I never have to leave.”