February 8, 2011
Canada is MMA Mecca: White
By DAN ILIKA, QMI Agency
TORONTO - UFC president Dana White has long made his opinion public that Canada is the “Mecca” of mixed martial arts when it comes to producing both talent and fans.
With White in town Tuesday to promote Ontario’s first ever sanctioned UFC event, he, once again, made no mistake about his views on Canadians as fans and fighters.
“The reason the UFC works, not just up here in the Mecca in Canada but all over the world as we continue to roll this thing out, is because we’re human beings,” White said. “Canada just gets it and likes it a lot more than everybody else.”
With its growing popularity across the country, White said it’s not a question of whether Canadians are ruthless, just appreciative.
“(Canadians), they’re not blood thirsty,” White said. “They’re a fan of this art. These guys are so incredibly talented.”
And while White may be exaggerating, he does have the numbers to back up his claim about the talent factory the country has become.
While UFC 129 headliners Georges St. Pierre and Mark Hominick are two of Canada’s more popular mixed martial artists, the country has produced its fair share of fighters.
Not including St. Pierre and Hominick, 31 Canadians have competed in the UFC since its inauguration in 1993.
Maybe it is the Mecca after all.