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Quebec Athletic Commission May Block UFC 97 From Happening in Montreal

UFC 97 MMA Silva Liddell Leites Rua

UFC 97 (April 18th, Montreal) was supposed to be a triumphant return to the city that gave the UFC its fastest-selling, most well-attended event in history. But even though last year’s UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre 2 was such an overwhelming success, the Quebec Athletic Commission may block the UFC from holding future events there under traditional MMA rules. As reports:

Due to circumstances surrounding the fallout from an event held last week in Montreal, the Quebec Athletic Commission (under the Régie des Alcools, des Courses et des Jeux) is re-evaluating rules that govern the sport of mixed martial arts within the province, according to Sportsnet sources.
To date, the QAC has been following the Unified Rules of MMA in North America. But since laws differ by city, state or province, a commission can insist on its own rules, which could differ drastically.
Changes the commission may implement could affect UFC 97, the Las Vegas-based promotion’s second event in Canada…Sources say these could include a requirement for a much smaller cage than the UFC’s patented Octagon, prohibiting elbow and knee strikes and requiring that the referee halt a bout should a fighter get knocked down from a strike in order to ensure the downed fighter is okay to continue.
Representatives from the commission told the UFC will have to follow the rules set forth by the commission if they wish to hold their show in Montreal. Marc Ratner, the UFC’s vice president of government and regulatory affairs, is fully aware of the new situation and is hopeful that ongoing discussions with the commission will prove that this will not jeopardize the UFC’s return to the province.

Obviously, there’s no way the UFC would agree to such a compromised version of their product, and they’re probably looking for a backup arena somewhere else just to be safe. (Which is a bummer if you’re a Canadian UFC fan, considering 13,000 tickets to the event have already been sold.) But here’s where things go from upsetting to just plain bizarre…

Apparently, the Unified Rules of MMA weren’t allowed in Quebec last year either:

Réjean Thériault, the communications director for the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, which governs alcohol, racing, gambling and combat sports in Quebec, told CorusSports the UFC’s use of elbows and knees to the head do not currently fall in line with the commission’s policies. The commission’s current policies only apply to boxing, kickboxing and mixed boxing and do not provide regulations on the use of a cage.
Thursday’s revelation was particularly curious considering the UFC held the highest-attended event in company history, "UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre 2," in Montreal nearly one year ago. According to the report, the commission was unaware of the UFC’s 2008 event — attended by more than 21,000 people and generating $5.1 million in ticket sales — until just a few days ago.

Unbelievable. You’d think that at least one person on the board that governs combat sports would have at least a passing awareness of the UFC. Add it to your Google Alerts, guys, it’s not hard. We’ll keep you updated on the situation, but it doesn’t look good. In the meantime, shake your fist at promoter Stephane Patry and hapless fighter James "The Colossus" Thompson, who may have sunk MMA in Quebec for the foreseeable future.

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Anonymous- February 23, 2009 at 5:59 pm
The states suck.
They couldn't lick Canada's asshole if they tried, eh?
And about you guys being able to kick our asses lets go back to the war of 1812, we wiped the floor with you
how about recently when GSP wiped the mat with you precious BJ Penn, Matt Hughes and Matt Serra
Anonymous- February 19, 2009 at 10:18 am
Better playing stupid than being from a country known almost exclusively for actually being stupid.
Anonymous- February 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm
Halifax! come to halifax. Where anyone can fight anyone and we will all cheer to watch it.
Anonymous- February 17, 2009 at 11:42 am
That's how we feel about the rest of you except you don't have anything we like.
proud canuck- February 17, 2009 at 10:34 am
good thing you americans have such an all-powerful army, they are doing wonders in the middle east, how's that search for Bin Laden going anyway?
Anonymous- February 15, 2009 at 4:49 pm
I live in Quebec and i am ashamed of this fucking cock sucking money stealing crock of shit defalted proclaiming goverment, leave us alone and quit fucking with things that work. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
bob- February 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm
I have worl all around canada and i can tell the gouvernement in quebec is a bunch of incompetant. u can complain about the annulationi of ufc 97 at this email.

take 2 minute and do it please
Anonymous- February 14, 2009 at 8:13 am
alberta sux
Anonymous- February 14, 2009 at 4:53 am
its only because they are french so that means that you are legally retarded
Markdog- February 14, 2009 at 4:11 am
I wonder how the QAC feels about taking on a born again ex-professional steriod abuser/fighter, turned D.A.R.E. spokesman, turned F.B.I. informant, aboard to smooth things out?
Anonymous- February 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm
I think we are still bitter about the time you tried to separate from us. Your lucky you have the city of Montreal, Tremblant, and GSP or there really wouldnt be any reason to like you!
Jimbo- February 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm
Cigarettes to babies... that's the best you could come up with. Your an idot.
Go back to watching porn and leave the commenting to us.
Sucker- February 13, 2009 at 3:43 pm
If they cancel the event and reimburse everyone for the tickets, do you think the UFC will offer refunds on Fight Club memberships that were purchased to enable us to buy tickets via the pre-sale? They sold out in 20 minutes last year. Unfortunately, it took me 3.5 hours to get through on the phone!
Anonymous- February 13, 2009 at 2:26 pm
Its not Canadians its the dumbass government........we don't have bombs so they have to make themselves feel important somehow. I"m Canadian and if they pull this shit I hope ufc never comes back here again.
Anonymous- February 13, 2009 at 1:27 pm
can you say Petition?
Chris H- February 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm
Canada is bigger and on top. That makes USA our bitch.
canadian_phil- February 13, 2009 at 12:48 pm
yeah..... thats what i thought
canadian_phil- February 13, 2009 at 12:47 pm
and for all the morons who are bashing Canada in these comments. if we suck so bad, then why did we host the fastest selling most attended show in ufc history? (even if it was in quebec)
Anonymous- February 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm
Yeah and don't forget the black helicopters keep circling our houses. The govenmenrt is trying to control our minds through fillings in our teeth. 3000 Jews were telephoned the night before 9/11 to not go to the twin towers. And President Bush pulled the most magnificent, birrliant, no error, perfectly executed self attack on the US. I mean not one single mistake, it was perfect and we only had to blame some towelies. Also Rapture watch out, I'll go and your going to be left behind. Ha ha ha ha.
Armbreaker- February 13, 2009 at 12:37 pm
@ Anonymous

For the record, I am not homophobic. I just don't like faggots like you.
Dr.- February 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm
Oh and when I say Montreal fans rioting. It's in their own city.

Dr.- February 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm
If you know anything about Canada, you'd know that Quebec tries to act like its own country - even tried to separate a few years back. So even if something seems retarded, if it's different than the rest of Canada, they're all for it.

Montreal fans will riot in the streets (burning shit and smashing windows) after their team WINS a hockey match in the playoffs. Kind of the opposite way to do things. This is just another fail for Quebec. Believe me, there isn't that much good coming out of Quebec besides some MMA fighters, some chicks and Schwartz's smoked meat sandwiches.

Quebec is Canada's creepy relative that you don't want to leave with small children.
canadian_phil- February 13, 2009 at 12:24 pm
and this is exaclty why the english speaking canadians like myself ( and 90% of canada) dont get along with the french speaking canadians (10% of canada). They really are fuckin stupid
Fellow Canadian.- February 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm
Don't blame all of us Canadians. I don't work for the commision. they are probably just looking for a bribe. They want to make money off of this shit.
Anonymous- February 13, 2009 at 11:55 am
Yes, of course that it. "Mr Armbreaker". Belligerent, homophobic and uses phases like "bitches need killing"; let's play a game and guess where he's from...