|Rich "Ace" Franklin tries to throw a standing elbow as Anderson "Spider" Silva defends during their first fight at UFC 64. (SUN MEDIA/File)
It was a close call, but UFC 97 got the green light from Quebec's combative sports commission following some tense moments.
The commission granted the licence for Montreal to host its second UFC event after fight club brass made an emergency trip to the city when questions arose about fighter safety.
Changes in the Quebec commission resulted in questions being raised about the use of elbows and knees.
Following the meeting, commission members sanctioned the April 18 event after assurances from the fight club that fighter safety was paramount.
Like UFC 83 last year, tickets to UFC 97 sold out in a day.
The UFC has unveiled its full card for April's Montreal show. It is as follows:
Middleweight champ Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites
Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Brian Stann
Cheick Kongo vs. Antoni Hardonk
Luis Cane vs. Steve Cantwell
Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Denis Kang
Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry
Ed Herman vs. David Loiseau
David Bielkheden vs. Mark Bocek
Ryo Chonan vs. T.J. Grant
Sam Stout vs. Matt Wiman
Tough to lose pounds
Making weight can be tough for fighters and Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez is no exception. In preparing for his fight tonight against Joe "Daddy" Stevenson, Sanchez admits the last few pounds are always tough. "The reason I went to 155 is because it's a challenge. I was 193 on Christmas Eve. So I've dropped almost about 30 lbs. now. And these last final pounds, it's just pure discipline. And yes, it's tough, man."
Franklin vs. Silva
Mmajunkie is reporting that Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva have agreed to fight at UFC 99, June 13 in Cologne, Germany.