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Report: UFC 97 to remain in Montreal

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.

9 COMMENTS
  • cere says:

    I read elsewhere that the only concession the UFC made was to ban foot stomps. How exactly did that negotiation go?
    UFC: “If you force us to follow these rules (no elbows or knee strikes or judo throws or slams and an automatic standup if a fighter is knocked down, smaller cage) then we will hold the event in Las Vegas and your economy will lose millions.”
    Commission:”Ok, how about no elbows?”
    UFC: “Vegas”
    Commission:”No knees?”
    UFC:”Vegas”
    Commission:”throws or slams, smaller cage, stand up on knock-downs?”
    UFC:”Vegas, Vegas, Vegas and Vegas”
    Commission:”Come on, you have to give us something, anything to save face here”
    UFC:”Ok, how about no foot stomps. No one likes them anyway”
    Commission:”But, we allow footstomps…we have no rules against those”
    UFC:”Vegas”
    Commission:”OK, no foot stomps it is”

  • goodguy says:

    lol @ cere

    It doesn’t appear that you are too far off base! I don’t see the UFC changing its rules just so they can hold a fight in Canada. Especially when they are growing in so many different world markets.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Cere totally called it, IMO. Thanks for the legit “LOL” after a long day of work!

  • s00nertp says:

    cere: lolololol
    freaking hilarious!

  • Angry Mike says:

    Glad to see that cooler heads prevailed. Did the commission specifically state that its objections were because of the ruckus at the Feb. 6 event? I don’t see how that’s relevant to a UFC event. Actually, when you think about it, it was modified rules like the commission proposed that led to the hooliganism. Stick with the North American unified rules and nobody gets hurt or even annoyed.

  • Grappo says:

    That was funny. But… I like foot stomps :(

  • canadianfightfan says:

    That’s twice now in the past couple of months that Quebec has been told to go rub salt. Completely unrelated to mma. There was an event called Red Bull Crashed Ice that was run in Quebec city. This event has happened there for the past few years but this year the Que govt. decided to tell Red Bull to change Crashed Ice into a really long french translation. Red Bull told them no we’ll move or cancel the event first. The same type of event takes place in Sweden and a few other countries where they don’t speak english and ther have been no language issues. Of course the Quebec govt. shut up when they realized that about 80 0000 people will be paying to attend and of course spending money at the event. BTW anyone who hasn’t seen what Crashed Ice is should check it out on youtube it’s pretty crazy.

  • cere says:

    Angry Mike:

    It seems that the Feb 6 was the catalyst, not the cause. Quebec does not officially have regulations in place to observe the generally accepted MMA unified rules. Instead the have some rules that seem to be very old and have not been enforced for 10 years. They have admitted that they turned a blind eye and allowed the Unified rules to be used at various MMA events. A new commissioner is in place and when the near-riot happened on Feb 6, the realized that if something happened, like a fighter was injured (not from the riot but a fight) that they might be liable because the rules the officially have on the books were allowed to be ignored. The riot (and want set it off) simply forced them to examine what rules were in place and the realized the rules in place were being ignored, with their tacit blessing.

  • wardog says:

    This all came to pass when the UFC threatened to move the event. But they didn’t really want to I would imagine because they’d have to refund the tickets. Quebec was just trying to get more money, that’s it! And maybe have them put GSP on the card, but change the rules? Come on!

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