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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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UFC aims for Ontario in 2009


UFC hoping to host event in Ontario in 2009

December 25, 2008 by Scott White

In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, UFC president Dana White stated that the Ultimate Fighting Championship would be returning to Montreal, Quebec in the spring and has plans of securing a show in Ontario in 2009

White said, “We’re going to attack Toronto and we’re going to get that done. We want to get a fight done in Ontario bad. And we’re going to do a big stadium there too. We’re not talking 10, 15, 20,000, we’re going to do a big stadium in Toronto.”

That big stadium will be the Rogers Centre, formerly known as the Sky Dome. The Rogers Centre was opened on June 3, 1989 and is home to Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays. The facility has a seating capacity of approximately 55,000.

When reports asked White about the Rogers Centre, he smiled and said “Maybe.”

Now there is no doubt that a show in Ontario would do massive ticket sales, especially if UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre was the headliner. With that being said, MMA still unsanctioned in Ontario and unless White can work some magic, it doesn’t look to be changing any time soon.

Prior to UFC 83, Ontario Athletics Commissioner Ken Hayashi was provided with an invite by Zuffa to witness Serra vs. St. Pierre II live but he declined the invitation saying, “I think it would be inappropriate to attend an event that we have determined to be illegal.”

Hayashi currently the largest roadblock to MMA is Ontario. MMA isn’t the only combat sport that has had issues with the commissioner. The kickboxing community has had their share of battles and though kickboxing is sanction, fighters are forced to wear standardized boxing gloves, fight in a traditional boxing ring and kicks are allowed but only above the waist.

When asked by SLAM! Sports about allowing kickboxing and not MMA, Hayashi said, “It’s still a stretch absolutely but that’s the limit the government feels comfortable with. (Kick boxers) can’t kick to the legs, they can’t grab, they can’t throw to the ground, can’t choke out, can’t put someone in a submission hold, can’t elbow, can’t knee… there is a difference.”

Mixed martial arts are currently banned because of Section 83.1 of the Criminal Code. Section 83.1 states that everyone who (a) engages as a principal in a prize fight, (b) advises, encourages or promotes a prize fight or (c) is present at a prize fight as a aid, second, surgeon, umpire, backer, or reporter, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

That applies to all of Canada yet provinces such as Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba, Halifax, Winnipeg, and British Columbia still host MMA events.

Over the past year, promoters have started hosting shows on Native Reservations throughout Ontario. Fighters such as Gary Goodridge, Dan Severn, and Eduardo Pamplona have been featured on cards hosted on sovereign land.

White feels confident the UFC can get something done saying, “This has been a successful sport now for almost 10 years. We’ve been a successful organization that can come in and put on a world-class sporting event. Why can’t we do it in Ontario? It makes no sense. It’s common sense that this is going to happen.”

It’ll be interesting to see if White and company can talk some sense into Hayashi and the Ontario Athletic Commission.


I'm honestly so sick and tired of Hayashi's shit, one person shouldn't be allowed to ruin something for everyone.

Last edited by Fedor>all; 12-26-2008 at 03:41 AM.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 03:50 AM
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All these shows already made for 09, and not one word of coming down to Aus
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 04:05 AM
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I don't understand why these comissioners are being so stubborn and narrow minded about MMA. Like it or not there is a huge MMA fan base in Canada and sooner or later this sport will have to be sanctioned in Ontario too, so why not doing it now
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 07:14 AM
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well that would be amazing if it could be done....mma is such a huge deal here in Ontario it's crazy...so many fans
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 08:27 AM
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Ken Hayashi is a bureaucrat through and through, that's why he likes sitting on the fence when it comes to MMA in Ontario. The guy doesn't want to stick his neck out for an issue because he doesn't want to lose his cushy job.

Any of you guys from Ontario ever see an event held inside the Reserve? They had one in London, Ontario two weeks ago, it was an 8 man tournament.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 11:22 AM
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Hayashi has said before he has nothing against MMA but Hayashi is an athletic commisioner, he can not change federal or provincial law. As the law in Canada is worded right now MMA is illegal. Some jurisdictions in Canada choose to ignore it where they hold MMA but I understand Hayashi's stance here. He could easily be open to a criminal charge or civil lawsuit if he sanctions an illegal activity and someone gets killed or seriously hurt.

Sanctioning isn't the real issue here, the law is. If the wording on the law gets changed Hayashi has said he would sanction MMA.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 11:43 AM
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I really hope this happens!

PS: anyone going to "throwdown in O-town"?

mad props: Toxic
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 12:29 PM
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I honestly think MMA is bigger in Ontario than Montreal.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Ape City View Post
I really hope this happens!

PS: anyone going to "throwdown in O-town"?
Hot damn I didn't know another one was going down. When is it?

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 01:22 PM
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That would be AWESOME.

Having a UFC here in Toronto would be the shit.
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