Anderson Silva. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s efforts to keep their scheduled April event in Montreal, Quebec, Canada seem to have succeeded as various outlets are reporting that Quebec Boxing Commission, provincial government officials and the UFC have come to an agreement to allow UFC 97 to stay in the province.
According to Sportsnet.ca, the two sides met Tuesday night in Montreal to discuss issues regarding certain rules permitted by the UFC under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts that the commission questioned about following a near riot due to confusion of the rules at Stephane Patry’s inaugural Strikebox event on February 6.
Despite originally wanting the UFC to comply with requests to use a smaller cage size and to prohibit strikes using the elbow or knee, the commission has reportedly agreed on the removal of foot stomps only.
The UFC held their first event in Canada back in March of last year, having Georges St. Pierre take on Matt Serra in a rematch for the UFC welterweight title in UFC 83’s main event. The show was a commercial and financial success, but commission officials oddly stated that they were unaware that the event took place.
UFC President Dana White stated that UFC 97 would likely have been moved to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas if an agreement with the QBC was unable to be reached. Fortunately all of those that already bought tickets to the UFC’s return to Montreal, things have been resolved.
UFC 97 will be headlined by UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva defending his title against Thales Leites. A light heavyweight bout between former longtime champion Chuck Liddell and PRIDE standout Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will serve as the co-main event.
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