The president of UFC Canada is ready to talk to the City of Vancouver.
Tom Wright, the Canadian Football League’s ex-commissioner and now the man behind the Ultimate Fight Championship’s operations in Canada, told 24 hours he hopes to meet with the revamped Vancouver Athletic Commission next month to “smooth out” the process of staging future events.
Vancouver hosted UFC 115 at GM Place June 12, but not before the event was nearly scrapped due to insurance issues.
Not long after, VAC chairman Mirko Mladenovic – who accused the city of trying to block professional MMA bouts – was fired for inappropriate conduct towards city staff.
And if the sport’s future in the city wasn’t already in doubt, the B.C. Medical Association recently started advocating a ban on mixed martial arts.
As it is, there’s plenty to talk about when Wright – who successfully lobbied Ontario to sanction the sport last week – comes to town.
“Everybody know the challenges we had [in Vancouver],” Wright said. “It’s much different in Ontario because they already have an athletic commission. Here the province has abdicated the responsibility to municipalities. I intend to sit down with the new [VAC] commissioner in September and talk about what we learned from the event.”
Wright said there was no timeline for the UFC’s Vancouver return but hoped the process could be smoother the second time around – even though Calgary and Edmonton could be competing for an event.