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The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s quest to finally hold an event in Canada was long and hard.
Rumblings of the organization planning to finally make the trek up north first started in late 2006. UFC President Dana White frequently mentioned in the media that he planned to take the promotion to Montreal for a show in April 2007 but the card was ultimately called off months prior due to unknown circumstances.
Then came a set date in October of last year. White claimed that Montreal native Georges St. Pierre wouldn’t be part of the event but the organization would have at least made it to Canada, perhaps using a smaller debut show to set up a larger event in the future.
Everything seemed set in stone. However the Montreal Canadiens’ schedule provided too many obstacles to overcome and White and company were back to square one, ultimately choosing Cincinnati, Ohio as the site for Rich Franklin’s rematch with Anderson Silva last year.
Yet through it all, the UFC finally made it, and the wait was certainly worth it.
Tomorrow night’s event may potentially end up being the biggest event in the organization’s history. White’s stubbornness to wait for an opening in the Bell Centre’s schedule and not opt to hold an event in a smaller venue paid off in a big way - UFC 83 sold out in less than two days and the UFC’s fighters will now compete in front of the largest crowd they’ve ever seen.
The luck of the draw had St. Pierre able to fight in front of his hometown after all. Not only that, but he’ll be attempting to regain his welterweight title and avenge a loss against Matt Serra in the biggest fight of his young career thus far. On top of that a slew of other Canadian fighters are also slated to compete as well.
While the multiple cancellations and postponements may have been a drag, in the long run, I think everyone will agree that the wait was well worth it.
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