VANCOUVER -- The UFC is set to return to Vancouver on June 11, 2011 after the organization met with the city last week and reportedly booked a date at Rogers Arena.
But unlike UFC 115, don't expect to see a lot of media coverage in the lead-up.
Last summer was ripe with stories of the 11th hour negotiations, possible cancellations, insurance woes and regulatory finger pointing.
All the bad press, whether true or not, gave the city and Dana White fits.
This time things are different.
For one, Dave Rudberg has replaced the outspoken Mirko Mladenovic as Vancouver Athletic Commission chair.
Mladenovic was highly critical of the city and wasn't afraid to go public with his concerns, leading city manager Penny Ballem to demand he "cease and desist from ... inappropriate commentary in the media."
He was fired shortly after UFC 115.
Secondly, the promoter already knows what it takes to put on a show in Vancouver and has a full eight months -- instead of weeks -- to iron out a deal.
If any dirty laundry does get aired, new UFC Canada president Tom Wright will be there to smooth things out.
The amicable former CFL commissioner takes a soft approach with media and is always on message.
"Sometimes Canadians want to talk to Canadians," Wright said of his role, casting himself as the city's friendly next-door neighbour, a la Mr. Rogers.
So whatever happens behind closed doors this time, both sides will be all smiles in public.
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