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Let’s Get It On MMA Cancels Quebec Half of Canadian Tournament Due to Commission Dithering Over Shape of Cage

(William Phelps Eno would be rolling in his grave if he knew he could have trademarked the shape of the stop sign he invented.)

You would think that with all of the bad press they’ve had in the past few weeks from the ludicrous delay in granting David Loiseau‘s license for UFC 113 and the fallout from the Paul Daley sucker punch at one of their sanctioned events that the Régie des Alcools des Courses et des Jeux (RACJ) would want to stay under the radar for a while.

You’d be wrong.

TopMMANews is reporting that Big John McCarthy’s wife, Elaine has announced that her "Let’s Get It On MMA" organization won’t be getting anything on in the province of Quebec this year as planned as they have been forced to call off their Quebec leg of their round robin tournament, costing millions in lost revenue for the province and its business owners and forcing portions of the contest to be cancelled.

The reason: the promotion was attempting to stick a round cage in an octagonal hole.

Notorious for not bending on any of the rules, no matter if there is any wiggle room or if the wording is open for interpretation, the RACJ is hung up with the section of their rule that calls for any MMA event to be contested in a fenced-in Octagon-shaped cage. Since the Octagon is a Zuffa trademarked design, any organization wishing to use a similar cage needs the expressed written consent of the UFC parent company to do so on top of a licensing fee that must be paid to the organization. TKO used the required cage and made mention at every event that they did so under a license from Zuffa.

Seems like a bit of a cash grab to me, but if fingers are to be pointed, the RACJ needs to shoulder some of the blame for being so asinine and not realizing the conflict of interest in using a licensed cage.

Long story short, McCarthy contacted the UFC months ago to inquire about using an eight sided cage and has yet to hear back from the organization. In the meantime, officials from her promotion, including BJM have made several presentations to the Quebec commission to explain that the round cage they used last month in their opening event of their planned ten-show tournament in Alberta is actually safer and allows fighters to more easily avoid being trapped against the corners of the Octagon.

It’s no surprise that the governing body would not waver on their obtuse geometric cage rule, since they seem to march to the beat of their own drum when it comes to choosing the rules that need to be followed to a "T." If you recall last year, they nearly pulled the plug on UFC 97 (even though there were no issues the year before at UFC 83) because of some waffling over a few of the rules including elbows and foot stomps. At the eleventh hour, they agreed to allow the event to go on if the UFC outlawed foot stomps, of all things from the event.

The Loiseau licensing fiasco came as a result of a RACJ implemented blanket licensing ban on several fighters in the past month due to their supposed relationships with individuals with alleged criminal ties.

Popular hockey enforcer-turned MMA fighter Steve Bosse had his license yanked about a month ago for the same reason as Loiseau. Commission officials believed that some of his sponsors were affiliated with organized crime, making him guilty by association. Bosse was exonerated last week of having any knowledge or link to the shady individuals’ alleged unlawful business dealings and was granted his license, however he was never informed of the news by the RACJ. His mother read about it in the paper.

Fighters aren’t the only victims of the governing body’s kangaroo court.

Jonathan Goulet‘s trainer Eric O’Keefe was denied a cornerman’s license for his fighter’s UFC 113 bout with Marcus Davis due to a past criminal record and alleged biker ties one of the partners in his MMA gym supposedly has.

I understand the premise of wanting to keep mixed martial arts on the up-and-up and wanting to clean up the sport, especially since Quebec MMA has a somewhat shady past, but the RACJ seems to be taking things to the extreme at the detriment of promotions, fighters, fans and businesses, which should warrant some investigation by the branch of government that oversees the commission.

Cagepotato Comments

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Fried Taco- May 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm
I just trademarked the Polygon cage. Now everyone, including Zuffa, needs to pay me!
Get Off Me- May 11, 2010 at 10:06 am
Photo radar is the cheesiest cash grab in Quebec.
I explained this situation above very clearly.....
wrong with the short sighted comment.....TKO paid rights to use the octagon to Zuffa and was able to hold events in my posts above again to understand why the rule is in place.....
Strife- May 11, 2010 at 9:38 am
Dont put all Canadians in the same Box as Quebec-Canadians. I live in Alberta, and I hate Quebec as much as the next guy
ReX13- May 11, 2010 at 6:46 am
Damn, jimbo, i don't know. i never really count. i know i've read before about the phrase "the Octagon" being trademarked, but not the cage design. I have no source for this, and it may just be something i dreamed between spending quality time with Olivia Wilde and Melissa Theuriau, and that dream i have about flying scorpion bugs that lay eggs under your skin.
El Famous Burrito- May 11, 2010 at 6:27 am
I trademarked using my fists to hit people years ago. I am very wealthy now.
jimbonics- May 11, 2010 at 6:14 am
Not sure why there's just now outrage over this. It's been this way for many years now. As a business you want to secure any and all IP that sets you apart from everyone else.

As for the boxing analogy... folks must've not had the foresight to trademark a boxing ring back in 18 dickety-two™.
Ratel- May 11, 2010 at 6:08 am
What's the fucking difference anyway!? There's probably 26 different boxing organizations that use the same *gasp* square boxing ring. And many of these promotions have the balls to even use the same number of ropes. What. The. Fuck. Cheesiest (cheeziest?) cash grab I've ever seen.

I gotta call shenanigans, since the ownership of the octagon shape belongs to mathematicians, not DW or Zuaffa.
jimbonics- May 11, 2010 at 6:02 am

Name one other organization that uses an octagonal cage. 6 sides, 10 sides.. hell Dream was going to make a 5 sided cage...
Ratel- May 11, 2010 at 5:49 am
RACJ stands for Alcohol and Gaming Commission. Some things don't translate word for word.

Anyways, yeah - there's a big time organized crime element in Quebec/Montreal. Google 'biker gang wars quebec' for some interesting reading. Also, they have the classic Italian element going back just as far as New York or Chicago.

The govnt in Quebec is full of some strange birds. Keep in mind that a large number of governmental officials in the province genuinely believe that they're on their way to being an independent sovereign nation. Which is to say, they set up their own shit and ignore what the rest of everybody else is doing, because they're 'separate.'

Dealing with Quebec (at the government level), in general, is a lot like dealing with that bipolar jerk at work. Things may go fine for weeks at a time, but it's always a countdown until the next time dude becomes completely irrational and starts pulling crazy shit that makes sense only in the little Bizarro world his brain occupies. Plus, you can't get rid of him 'cause he's the boss's son.
ReX13- May 11, 2010 at 5:44 am
Ok, i'm confused on the point of the trademarked cage. It had been my understanding that the UFC had trademarked the term "Octagon", but the octagonal cage was part of the unified MMA rules in order to increase standardization and help advance the sport. Now i'm reading that the UFC expects other promotions to license the cage design in order to put on a show? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Dana. DW is known for doing douchey things, but, wow. Wow, man. I mean, fuck, man, whatever. Making it very hard for me to defend you DW, nahmean?

MRuss, how did this happen when the unified rules were being thrashed out? Did some existing promotions get concessions to use the Octagon in perpetuity? Did DW say everyone could use it, and then yell "Psych!" when after everyone agreed?

jimbonics- May 11, 2010 at 5:38 am

I'm sure if another Ref tried to use the phrase 'Let's Get it On!' to start a fight the McCarthy's would be all butthurt.

One of the first things Zuffa did was trademark the Octagon­™. See? It even has a little tm next to it. My computer did that automatically.

I think it's funny that the RACJ laid down a rule that all MMA fights have to be in an Octagon™. Short-sighted to say the least.
Keyser Soze- May 11, 2010 at 5:17 am
Easy solution, move the event here to Halifax. The Metro Center seats almost 10,000, big enough for other organizations except for the UFC. Smaller productions do well here.


Karma always seems to have a way of biting you in the ass, so here's hoping Koscheck jinxed his precious Penguins. Sidney Crosby is from here, but I'll always be a Habs fan. Last night's game was great, and one more win and the Pens are out. Vive les Habitants!
RearNakedPoke- May 11, 2010 at 5:14 am
thats just ridiculous!!! just use the round cage and let them fight, the fighters dont care. they just want to get their career up and going.
peckawoodd- May 11, 2010 at 4:27 am
Just wait until they try to sanction a fight in Spain.
fatbellyfrank- May 11, 2010 at 4:04 am
Maybe Dana and Big John just need to sit down and smoke the peace pipe (Diaz boys will fix you up) and move forward for the good of the sport, or Dana could just stop being a miserable prick, just sayin
agentsmith- May 11, 2010 at 3:08 am
Shoddy and/or shady is the Quebec way.
Miles- May 10, 2010 at 11:54 pm
Mr_Misanthropy, you gotta try a little harder for comment of the week
cecils_pupils- May 10, 2010 at 11:42 pm
je n'est comprends pas... merde!
Get Off Me- May 10, 2010 at 11:15 pm
More or less my Aussie friend, but more layered in Quebec's situation, with being the black sheep of Canada we have found many profitable ways to exploit this situation....RACJ is able to make unilateral decisions on MMA, so by creating the octagon rule, they have basically extended such power to Dana White inside of Quebec.....treat the #1 good and he will reciprocate $$$.....Mama McCarthy paying Dana is contingent on Dana allowing them to have the rights to the Octagon in the first place....So far Mama McCarthy ain't got no phone calls see that all seeing eye out there.

Dr Garbo- May 10, 2010 at 11:08 pm
How could a country who produced something as glorious as Howie Mandel mess something like this up? I don't know what to believe anymore...up is down...left is right...Who pooped in my pants...
fatbellyfrank- May 10, 2010 at 11:03 pm
@ get off me, makes a shitload of sense, kind of how it works just about everywhere when you think about it, so is Mama McCarthy gonna ante up, or just focus on the rest of Canada?
iDestroy- May 10, 2010 at 10:23 pm
Lol. Good times up north.

May the Schwartz be with you.
Get Off Me- May 10, 2010 at 10:13 pm
Well Done! Strange Brew, Spaceballs etc....Movie marathon, me, steampunk, kimbos bread and GSP in Jason McDonald's hospital room right now.
iDestroy- May 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm
@Get Off Me

My bad bro. It's all in your hands now.

I thought Canadians all lived in the same area, so it was like 2 or 3 provinces bunched together and the rest were empty.
I had no doubt in my mind that all the CP Canadians like you and kimbos bread and steampunk and everyone hanged out regularly and only had to drive a few minutes and you would be at the others house enjoying your Rick Moranis comedy with your flappy heads and beedy little eyes.

Learn something new everyday I guess.

Get Off Me- May 10, 2010 at 9:43 pm
Steampunk is holding down the west coast, I'm here in Montreal so let me get this one. are corrupt.. Organized crime is corrupt..Together they make up Montreal's economy. You have to pay to play with RACJ, Dana pays big and so he's #1 and any #2 i.e. McCarthy's promotion, has to pay #1Dana(Octagon rights) and then RACJ to hold events in the province, it's just business folks.