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UFC 97 in Montreal in Question

UFC 83 set a landmark for Canada; for the first time, Dana White, alongside Matt Serra, Georges St. Pierre and other top level fighters, brought the UFC to The Bell Centre in Montreal. It seemed the entire city came out to watch as the sellout crowd (including me) lined up for what seemed like forever. After a great night of fights and excitement, it finally concluded with Georges “Rush” St. Pierre redeeming his recent loss of the Welterweight Title, as he won his belt back from Matt Serra. In an interview afterward, Dana White said that he had never heard a crowd as loud as when the official decision was announced by Bruce Buffer. It seemed like this would spark a new reign of sports entertainment in Canada.

However, after an altercation at a recent Titan Fighting event, The QAC (Quebec Athletic Commission) has been trying to change the regulations of mixed martial arts, and therefore, the rules governing the UFC for their next trip to Canada. At the Titan Fighting show, a gentlemen’s contract was issued to the fighters. The contract stated that the fighters were to keep all fights standing along with other small changes to the regular MMA rules. It seems somebody decided to neglect one fighter, as James Thompson shot for a take down instantly in the main event. The crowd rioted and charged the cage as the two fighters (Thompson and Steve Bosse) and referee Yves Lavigne ran. After this debacle, the QAC underwent a process to try and change their rules. The new set of rules excluded elbows, knees and takedowns, and may even regulate cage sizes moving forward. The QAC has notified the board of directors of the UFC that in order to hold UFC 97 at the Bell Centre as planned, they would have to comply with these new rules, or there would be no show.

Canadian fighter Jason MacDonald stated that he was concerned for the well being of the Canadian fans. He expressed strong views that he wants UFC 97 to go ahead as planned although he still remains pessimistic. In an online interview he stressed that UFC representatives and the Director of Regulatory Affairs would sit down with the members of the Commission in Quebec and try to sort things out. Personally, I question projecting the unfortunate results from a smaller event onto the juggernaut that is the UFC, especially since the largely self-governing promotion would almost certainly not run into a similar situation.

Whether it happens in Montreal or not, the card suggests that their will be some amazing fights, including Anderson Silva v. Thales Leites, “The Iceman” Chuck Liddel v. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and an appearance from Ed Herman. Also, finalist of last season’s Ultimate Fighter, Krzysztof Soszynski, will be making his second appearance in the UFC. Canadian born Jason Macdonald will also be fighting against Nate ‘The Rock’ Quarry (who won fans over at the first Canadian UFC event), along with Sam Stout, who is rumored to be fighting on the undercard.

If UFC 97 goes ahead as planned in Montreal, then it is sure to be another night for the record books for UFC. One thing if for sure, the UFC will always have a place in Canada, whether it’s on TV or in live action. Hopefully the QAC and other provincial directors will allow Dana White and his superstars to fight live for the Canadian fans.

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One Response to “UFC 97 in Montreal in Question”

  1. Matt Says:

    the problem has been resolved, ufc 97 will go on as planned

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