March 29, 2010
UFC to punch out Vancouver?
By JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency
Vancouver is on the verge of losing UFC 115.
The mixed-martial arts event was slated for June 12 at GM Place but bureaucratic red tape surrounding insurance and other matters has forced the world’s largest fight promotion to look at moving the fight out of Vancouver.
Some reports say the fight may move to Cincinnati. There is also a slim chance the fight could move to Calgary where Zuffa LLC — the UFC’s parent company — has been looking to book a fight for its World Extreme Cagefighting promotion for June 20.
A source close to the UFC says the last minute problems have the promotion worried whether all its indemnification requirements will be filled in time to host the June show in Vancouver.
UFC president Dana White and vice-president of regulatory affairs Marc Ratner are refusing to comment on the matter and sources say the UFC is preparing to release more information on the fate of UFC 115 in the coming days.
The source says the door is not fully shut on the event but the prognosis is bleak.
Tickets for UFC 115 were to go on sale in two weeks and if the outstanding insurance issues can be resolved by then, the show may be saved.
The UFC has already hosted two sold out shows in Canada — UFC 83 and UFC 97 — both in Montreal. That city will also host UFC 113 on May 8.
Attempts by the UFC to stage a show in Toronto have also been thwarted as Ontario remains one of the last holdouts in North America to sanction MMA.
The Vancouver show was to be highlighted by a light-heavyweight tilt between former champs and current TUF reality show coaches Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell and Tito ‘Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ Ortiz.
Other fighters booked for UFC 115 include Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin, Mirko ‘CroCop’ Filipovic, Gilbert Yvel and B.C. welterweight standout Rory MacDonald.
Vancouver city council voted only late last year to allow mixed martial arts in the city. But, according to sources, issues surrounding how much insurance promoters must carry for a fight card has scared away smaller promotions and may be at the heart of the UFC’s decision to move the show elsewhere.