UFC has ways to go

DHARM MAKWANA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

The Ultimate Fighting Championship's path to mainstream acceptance will likely twist through Vancouver but one retired fighter said there remains some distance to go.

"I don't think mixed martial arts has completely evolved into what it's going to look like but it's getting closer," said Manny Sobral, a former super welterweight boxing champion who operates the North Burnaby Boxing Club.

Sobral said UFC supporters could do more to convince opponents mixed martial arts is a bona fide sport.

"When people start to get educated in the science that is UFC and MMA (they will) know it's just not savagery."

Vancouver city council appears to have clued into some degree and is poised to lift a moratorium on mixed martial arts sometime next month when a staff report on the economic impact of hosting such an event is submitted.

UFC promoters have penciled in a June 2010 pay-per-view event in Vancouver without knowing the outcome of the report.

Two similar cards at Montreal's Bell Centre each generated a $5-million gate.


Videos

Photos