Friday, February 13, 2009

UFC 97 May Not Happen in Montreal Due to Local Regulations

It was very exciting to have the UFC make its first appearance in Canada last year. Sadly, UFC 97, scheduled again to be in Montreal, may not happen due to Quebec's sports policies, according to CorusSports.com, a Quebecer sports website. This is yet another nail in the coffin for MMA in Canada.

Réjean Thériault, the communications director for the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, which governs alcohol, racing, gambling & combat sports in Quebec, told CorusSports that UFC's use of elbow & knee strikes to the head are not in accordance with the commission's policies at this time.

The commission's current policies only apply to boxing, kickboxing & mixed boxing and do not provide regulations on the use of a cage. Thériault told CorusSports that if the UFC is unable to adapt its own policies to suit the commission's regulations, the company wouldn't be welcome to stage their return event planned for April 18.

UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Marc Ratner told MMAJunkie.com it was too soon to know how this revelation would affect UFC 97. "UFC is working diligently to ensure the event goes on as planned," said Ratner. "We've got to make it work."

Another report by the Canadian-based Sportsnet.ca states that sources have suggested the commission may create regulations to require "a much smaller cage than the UFC's patented Octagon, prohibiting elbow & knee strikes and requiring that the referee to halt a bout should a fighter get knocked down from a strike in order to ensure the downed fighter is OK to continue."

Personally, I can accept that the idea of removing elbows to the head to reduce the number of cuts to the head. That's what Pride did and I never found it lacking in excitement. But requiring refs to halt bouts to prevent strike-ins would be a huge disadvantage for strikers/ ground-and-pounders. It would just change the nature of the sport way too much.

1 comment:

Tim said...

how convenient is it that GSP fought in the main event in Montreal last year and the commission wasn't aware that the fight had even occurred yet now with no Quebecois on the card they're objecting to all sorts of nonsense.