UFC 97 Staying in Montreal
The April 18, UFC 97 event scheduled for the Bell Centre in Montreal will continue on as scheduled according to the French website Corrus Sports. On Tuesday, UFC officials, Lorenzo Fertitta and Marc Ratner, met with officials from Quebec’s Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, which governs alcohol, racing, gambling and combat sports in the province of Quebec. The two sides hammered out a deal where the Unified Rules would be followed with the sole exception of foot stomps not being allowed.
Initially, the Quebec commission stated that their policies only covered Mixed Boxing and did not allow the use of a cage, foot stomps, elbows or knees to the head. They also stated that they were unaware that UFC 83 was held in the province in 2008. This stance perplexed most in the mixed martial arts industry as UFC 83 was well publicized in Canada for producing a record gate of $5.1 million.
Over 13,000 tickets for the Montreal event were already purchased by the public prior to the announcement by the commission. The UFC was concerned enough to begin making contingencies to hold the event in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Now fans can plan for the exciting event without worrying about it being cancelled. Anderson Silva vs Thales Leites for the Middleweight title fight is the main event. Also on the card are perennial favorite Chuck Liddell, who will be facing Shogun Rua. The event is stacked with Canadian fighters – Krzysztof Soszynski, Denis Kang, Mark Bocek, Sam Stout, David Loiseau, Jason MacDonald and newly signed TJ Grant are all scheduled to fight.