UFC Announces Three Canadian Bouts For '12 In Calgary, Toronto, Montreal
The UFC yesterday announced UFC 149 will be held Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome on July 21, along with “two more cards to take place in Canada” this year with UFC 152 on Sept. 22 in Toronto and UFC 154 in Montreal on Nov. 17, according to Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com. Okamoto noted one Canadian city “left off Wednesday's announcements is Vancouver, which hosted UFC events in 2011 and 2010 during a two-year ‘test period’ by the city council to sanction MMA.” UFC President Dana White said that the city “likely won't land another show within the next two years” (ESPN.com, 3/21). In Saskatoon, Dave Deibert noted Montreal is “being envisioned as an annual stop around March and Toronto every September.” A third “major Canadian city -- Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa or Quebec City remain near the top of the list -- would then host an event sometime in between.” UFC Canadian Dir of Operations Tom Wright said that tickets for UFC 149 are “expected to go on sale around the second week of May” (Saskatoon STARPHOENIX, 3/22). Also in Calgary, Ian Busby notes White “got a huge ovation from a few hundred fans in officially announcing Calgary as part of a three-city Canadian tour in 2012.” Calgary will be the “ninth UFC card in Canada.” The UFC also announced that for the “next three years (2012-14) there will be events in Toronto and Montreal, while White hinted that Calgary will also be getting cards during that time as well but nothing is official yet” (CALGARY SUN, 3/22).
READY FOR RIO: ESPN.com’s Okamoto noted a UFC middleweight bout between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen is “poised to become the biggest fight in company history.” White yesterday “revealed the promotion's plans to host a June meeting between the two inside a soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro.” Officials have not confirmed which venue would serve as host, but “Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange, also known as Engenhao, is one possible destination.” The event “figures to break the company's attendance records last set at UFC 129 in April 2011.” That event, held at Rogers Centre in Toronto, drew “a crowd of 55,724 and pulled a live gate of $12.075 million.” White estimated that the Rio fight “could draw as many as 80,000” (ESPN.com, 3/21).