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Much Ado About Nothing, UFC 97 Saved

Written by Tom Ngo
February 18th, 2009
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The UFC and the Quebec Athletic Commission have reached an agreement that will allow the world’s biggest MMA organization to keep their April 18th event in Montreal, Canada. The event sold out in a mere five hours last Wednesday, however the QAC threw the UFC a curveball the following day, stating that the organization would have to make significant rule changes in order for the event to be held at the Bell Centre.

Last week, Réjean Thériault, the communications director for the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, which governs combat sports in Quebec, stated that elbow and knee strikes would have to be made illegal and the UFC would be required to use a smaller version of the Octagon, as well as enforcing brief referee stoppages after a fighter is knocked down from a strike in order to check if they are able to continue.

Although the UFC has yet to officially confirm the situation, the company’s vice president of regulatory Affairs, Marc Ratner, told MMABay.co.uk that, “UFC 97 will go ahead on April 18 in Montreal as planned.”

Corus Sports is stating that the two have agreed to abide by standard North American MMA rules (UFC rules), which will include knee and elbow strikes. However the UFC was forced to disallow foot stomps, which is something that the organization does not currently practice.

Throughout the years, Canada has always followed unified MMA rules or North American MMA rules, however the QAC’s newly appointed brass just discovered that those are not the rules that should have been in place.

Thankfully for both parties, they will be able to build upon their successful relationship. The UFC held their first event in Canada last April. UFC 83 packed more than 21,000 fans into the Bell Centre, generating $5.1 million in ticket sales.

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