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SBD/January 20, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
UFC Co-Chair Lorenzo Fertitta Defends Fighters' Pay After ESPN "OTL" Piece
Published January 20, 2012
GAME PLAN: YAHOO SPORTS’ Dan Metzer noted despite UFC postponing its upcoming March 24 card at Montreal's Bell Centre, but plan is “still to run 14 pay-per-view shows, with the new date for Montreal being an added event on the schedule.” The UFC schedule “will go silent from a pay-per-view event on February 25 in Saitama, Japan, until an April 21 show at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta -- a seeming eternity for a company used to doing pay-per-view events every few weeks.” Although the Canadiens currently sit 12th in the NHL Eastern Conference, Metzer noted due to the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs, the Bell Centre “had to keep all Saturday nights in April and May open.” UFC Canadian Dir of Operations Tom Wright said that the company is “still planning on doing three major pay-per-view shows this year from Canada: the Montreal show; an August show in a venue not yet finalised; and another trip to Toronto.” Wright: “We want to go back to Montreal. How could you not want to?” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/18).
STEP BY STEP: In Detroit, Matt Bishop reports the UFC “took another step in the ongoing battle with performance-enhancing drugs this week by enacting a policy where all new UFC and Strikeforce signees will be subject to a pre-contract drug screening.” This step is in addition to “testing regularly done by the state athletic commissions, many of which test fighters both before and after a bout.” The policy is effective as of Jan. 1 and is “a positive step, but testing done at assigned times is mainly looked at as a joke” (DETROIT NEWS, 1/20).