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UFC to hold April event in Toronto

The UFC announced Tuesday its long-anticipated debut in Toronto will take place April 30 at the 69,000-seat Rogers Centre. The event will be UFC 131.

The Canadian province long has been a target for a UFC show. The company was thrilled when news broke in August that the area had voted to sanction mixed martial arts in 2011.

In a released statement Tuesday, UFC president Dana White expressed his excitement on taking his show to Toronto for the first time.

"Canadians have repeatedly shown how much they love the UFC," White said. "Fans in Ontario have patiently waited and it will pay off, as this one will go down in the history books."

Considering the enormous size of the Rogers Centre, the same venue where Major League Baseball's Blue Jays play, the UFC show in April likely will set new marks for North American MMA attendance and live-gate records.

"Toronto is going to break the record and host the biggest mixed-martial-arts event ever in North America," White said.

In addition to the UFC 131 card, the UFC also announced it will host its fourth Fan Expo that weekend. The Fan Expo has taken place in Boston and Las Vegas twice.

No fights have been revealed for the card. Tickets are expected to go on sale in January.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].

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