The UFC is beginning to broaden it’s horizons again with a recent Fight Night event in London, this weekend’s UFC 275 card from Singapore and the recent announcement of their first ever show in Paris, France in September, but don’t expect a return to Canada any time soon unless current vaccine regulations change.
“Uh, I don’t know yet. We’ll see,” White stated when asked by TSN Sports reporter Aaron Bronsterer if a Canadian event is in the works. “It all depends on how the world gets back to normal. Obviously Canada is a huge market for us. Canada is a big part of our history — love it up there.
“It’s just going to depend on whether the world gets back to normal. I wanna go back to Canada this year, but let’s see.”
Prior to COVID, Canada was one of the UFC’s biggest markets and a frequent landing spot for big events, so there’s no doubt that White is being sincere about his desire to return their.
However, though Canada is now back hosting big sporting events with full capacity crowds, which may thought might pave the way for the UFC’s return, White has revealed the stumbling block that is currently making the promotion reluctant to do so.
“I think that in Canada right now, we’d need a fully vaccinated card. Everybody on the card has to be vaccinated,” White said. “Yeah, that’s the problem.”
White had previously gone on record last year stating that he wouldn’t force fighters to get vaccinated, so that would somewhat limit their options since there are known to be some stars who are either reluctant or completely against getting the jab.
That being said, it does still seem somewhat surprising that the UFC couldn’t put together a respectable fight card with vaccinated fighters in order to get back to such a key market for them.
Perhaps the hope is that by holding off that it may put pressure on the Canadian government to rethink the requirement, which other countries have been willing to overlook.