Toronto is MMA's new Vegas

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:42 AM ET

The mixed martial arts capital of the world is going to be sharing that title for at least one night.

But if you listen to the talk in Las Vegas the impression is that it will be sharing that title with Toronto for a lot longer that that.

UFC 129 will be the first major mixed martial arts card held in Ontario after the provincial government approved the sport last year.

The tickets sold out with the speed of a wad of dough being lost in Vegas.

Some 60,000, the biggest crowd to watch a UFC event, are expected to attend.

And it’s not just the Canadian fighters such as Quebec’s George St. Pierre and Ontario’s Mark Hominick that are pumped for the event.

“To fight in Toronto would unbelievable,” said Javier Torres, a Tompkins disciple from Mexico who appeared on this season of The Ultimate Fighter television show. “A dream.”

“Uuuhhhaaaa, Toronto!” yelled former UFC champ American Kevin “The Monster” Randleman. “The best ever. It’s the big time.”

“The Canadian market could be bigger than the American market,” said Kekoa Quipotla, one of the owners of the Tapout Training Centre in Las Vegas. “The entire country can grasp MMA.

“Right now, I’m getting calls from small towns in British Columbia, Alberta, towns I’ve never heard of that want cages, mats, rings. After Toronto, itwill only get bigger.

He calls it the “tip of the iceberg,” for MMA in Canada.

“I was involved for a lot of years in entertainment,” Quipotla said. “It’s like the hip-hop thing. It was more than just music. It was clothes, lifestyle. MMA is about all of that. It has it’s own language, clothes, lifestyle.”


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