From Sportsnet's Showdown Joe Ferraro
After week’s of speculation that the UFC is expected to make their fifth stop at the Bell Centre on December 10th, Tom Wright, the Director of Operations for UFC Canada, made it clear that, the deal to return to Montreal, is far from signed, sealed and delivered.
“Well as you know, I wouldn’t believe everything I read in the newspaper. It’s not a foregone conclusion”, stated Wright.
Thus far, the only guarantee is that the Ultimate Fighting Championship will host an event in The Great White North in the final month of 2011.
“We’ve looked at the December 10th date. I think what is a foregone conclusion is that there will be an event in Canada, but there’s lots of places we are looking at, lots of different venues. We of course would love to go back to Montreal. We’ve had great success at the Bell Centre, have a great relationship with the Commission there, great UFC fans also, throughout the province.”
With UFC President Dana White often referring to Canada as “The Mecca of MMA”, Wright hinted that it is not just Montreal that is in the running to host UFC 140.
After a successful event in the City of Toronto, MMA fans should not be surprised if the promotion chooses, instead, to return to the very location where the North American record was set for the largest attended MMA event in history.
“We’re also looking at potentially coming back to Toronto. We look at the ACC (Air Canada Centre), conceivably look at the Rogers Centre.”
The demand to host a UFC event has also spread right across the province of Ontario.
“There’s other places. I’ve been contacted by Scotia Bank Place in Ottawa, there’s Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, there’s lots of different opportunities, and lots of different places.”
While Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton are all in the running to host UFC 140, Wright may have hinted that there are also thriving metropolis’ right across the country that may also be considered. Cities like Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon and even Halifax, are all chomping at the bit to host a numbered pay per view event, chalk full of fans hoping that it is their city that is the one selected.
“What I can tell UFC fans, is that, the thing I feel more confident about, is saying there’s going to be a December 10th event in Canada. Where in Canada? It’s a big country.”