According to CKAC Sports and Corussports.com, UFC officials have come to a comprise with members of the Quebec Athletic Commission which will keep UFC 97 in Montreal on April 18 as scheduled.
The UFC has yet to issue an official comment in response to the report and phone and text messages left for UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner by FiveOuncesOfPain.com were not immediately returned.
The QAC was intent on standing its ground and potentially forgoing the millions of dollars that a UFC event could pump into the Canadian economy. Previous reports stated that the commission has rules that were rarely if ever enforced which forbid the use of elbows and knee strikes, judo throws, slams and calls for a break in the action if a fighter is knocked down.
The old administration never enforced these rules and allowed the use of the North American unified rules of mixed martial arts but an event that was held on February 6 caused the new officers in charge to take a look at how these events were being run. A near riot caused by miscommunication amongst the fighters caught the attention of the commission and put UFC 97 in serious jeopardy.
In the main event that featured James Thompson and former hockey player Steve Bosse there was an apparent “gentleman’s agreement” in which there would be no ground fighting. Thompson claims he was unaware of this agreement and when he took Bosse down fans started pelting the ring with bottles and other foreign objects.
Apparently cooler heads have prevailed and with 22,000 tickets already sold and millions of dollars at stake the QAC has made an exception for the time being.
UFC 97 will feature a main event Anderson Silva defending his middleweight championship against Thales Leites and a light heavyweight matchup between former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and former PRIDE superstar Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.