Canada has proven to be a happy hunting ground for the UFC, and in fact Dana White proclaimed Toronto to be, “The fight capital of the world” this week during a press conference for December’s UFC 140: Jones Vs Machida event.
As such Canadian’s can expect several big events coming their way in 2012, with visits to Montreal, Toronto and somewhere that the UFC’s Head Of Canadian Operation’s Tom Wright declares in an interview with The Canadian Press “will suprise you.”
The city conspicious by it’s absence on that list is Vancouver which has been a destination on the UFC’s calender for the previous two years, with UFC 115: Liddell Vs Franklin drawing an attendance of 17,669 at General Motor’s Place while this year’s UFC 131: Lesnar Vs Carwin show pulled in 14,685 at the Rogers Arena.
Unfortunately Wright reveals that continued political interference which amongst other things has lead to sky-high insurance costs being demanded in order to host an event there, has finally seen the promotion’s patience wear thin.
“The disappointing thing for our sport is that after a two-year test period, they’ve had two tests – ours, because no other promotion could afford the indemnification or the insurance costs or the other things, or actually have the perseverance to get an event to be held there.
“Will we go back to Vancouver in time? Yeah. Will it be next year? I doubt it.”
Despite this setback there’s no doubt that Canada remains the jewel in the UFC’s crown and so it’s a market that will continue to be well catered for.
It’s not neccessarily guaranteed to stay on top permanently though, with Brazil in particular set to provide a significant challenge going forward as is evidenced by the UFC’s plan to visit there four times in the coming year.