by Marco Antico – MMAWeekly.com
UFC CARD IN MONTREAL SHAPING UP
Tickets will go on sale Feb. 10 for the first Ultimate Fighting Championship card ever to be held on Canadian soil. The Bell Centre is the largest hockey arena in the National Hockey League with a seating capacity of approximately 21,000.
While demand seems to be high, historically Montreal has not been known to be the most lucrative of economic markets. But seeing that the sport of MMA continues to be prohibited in Ontario, many Ontarians are planning to make the commute to ‘la belle provence’.
The UFC also plans to extend a special invitation to Ontario’s Athletic Commissioner, Ken Hayashi, in the hopes that he will one day choose to open the doors to MMA in Ontario.
The rumored fight card thus far includes:
-Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Serra
-Rick Franklin vs. Travis Lutter
-Jason MacDonald vs. Joe Doerksen
-Sam Stout vs. Rich Clementi
-Mac Danzig vs. Mark Bocek
-Kuniyoshi Hironaka vs. Jonathan Goulet
-Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua vs. TBA
CANADIAN MMA EXPO TO RETURN IN JUNE
The third MMA Expo will be held on Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22 at the International Centre in downtown Toronto, Ontario. The expo gives fans the opportunity to participate in several MMA seminars, instructed by some of the greatest UFC fighters. There will also be numerous exhibitor booths selling MMA paraphernalia and promoting local gyms and fight promotions. Perhaps more than anything else, it’s just a great day to immerse oneself in the incredible sport we all love and support.
JOSE ‘PELE’ LANDI-JONS TO HEADLINE TKO 32
TKO has decided to go for a more international flavor as it has chosen Jose ‘Pele’ Landi-Jons to headline its upcoming event, TKO 32: Ultimatum to be held on Thursday, Feb. 28.
TKO was in negotiations with proficient striker and UFC veteran Brain Gassaway to fight Pele, but the deal has not yet been signed. The card also features a much-anticipated showdown for the welterweight title between champion Jesse Bongfeldt and challenger T.J. Grant. Steve Bosse will try to bounce back as he is also expected to be on the card.
HARDCORE CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHTING HOSTING SPECTACULAR CARD
Hardcore Championship Fighting continues to break the mold and the bank as they are hosting perhaps the best MMA event ever to be held on Canadian soil. The main event features Pride veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira versus British Columbia’s Todd Gouwenberg. Also of great interest to Canadian MMA fans is the matchup between the former UFC No. 1 middleweight, David Loiseau and Alberta’s own Jason Day.
The complete fight card includes:
Thomas Schulte vs. Garrett Davis
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Todd Gouwenberg
Gegard Mousasi vs. Evangelista Santos
Jason Day vs. David Loiseau
Brendan Seguin vs. Derrick Noble
Damir Mirenic vs. Mike Pyle
Andrew Buckland vs. Dan Chambers
Solomon Hutcherson vs. Amir Rahnavardi
Myles Merola vs. Ariel Sexton
Tim Hague vs. Miodrag Petkovic
Nabil Khatib vs. Lucas Rota
Babian Cortez vs. Juan Barrantes
IROQUOIS MIXED MARTIAL ARTS CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS ON FEB 9
Despite the Ontario Athletic Commissioner’s efforts to stop MMA events on Ontario native reserves, they are continuing to grow in size and acceptance.
“Our main goal with putting on these events is to show people that there is more to do on these native reserves aside from gambling”, stated co-promoter James Procyk. “We want to change the image people have of reserves and want them to realize it’s just as friendly and welcoming a place as anywhere else in the province. We are using these MMA events as a way to give back to the community.”
The fight card for their upcoming event on Feb. 9 includes:
Daryl Pinter vs. William Romero
Geza Kalman vs. Jason Cecil
Dwight Garlow vs. Brandon Curtis
Shane Cambell vs. Jetron Amarel
Brian Edge vs. Jeff Walsh
Joel Powell vs. Jon Irwin
Ainsley Robinson vs. Andy Hauser
Steve Vujnovic vs. Markeile Weiderburne
Josh Powell vs. Ali Mokdad
Dan Severn vs. Ian Asham
KRU CHRIS KEW HELPING TJ GRANT PREPARE FOR TITLE SHOT
Kru Chris Kew is well known for his many accomplishments in the world of Muay Thai. He is one of the Directors of the Canadian Amateur Muay Thai Association of Ontario (CAMTAO) and has not only produced many championship fighters, but is also a Muay Thai champion himself.
Kew was recently invited out east by top Canadian welterweight prospect TJ Grant to help him polish his striking skills as he prepares to face Jesse Bongfeldt for the TKO Championship. Kew can usually be found training a host of fighters at his own gym, Mas Thai Boxing, in Cambridge, Ontario including TKO superstars Syd Barnier and Adam Kastner.
CANADIAN MIXED MARTIAL ARTS ASSOCIATION WAITING PATIENTLY
The Canadian Mixed Martial Arts Association (CMMAA) is a federally incorporated, not for profit organization. CMMAA along with it’s sister organization, the Ontario Mixed Martial Arts Association (OMMAA), are the only entities working with the government to get amateur recognition for the sport of mixed martial arts in Ontario.
CMMAA submitted its application in October 2007 and have since been waiting patiently for a response. Feedback has been promised by the end of January and members will be informed shortly thereafter.
Despite the UFC expressing their keen interest in Ontario and also despite regular MMA events now taking place on native reserves, the government has held firm on its stance that amateur MMA is the necessary first step. The state of Maryland in the USA is the only other jurisdiction in North America also insisting on amateur needing to come before professional.
CANADIAN MMA CALENDAR
January 26 – Freedom Fight 2008 at the Robert Guertin Arena in Hull, Quebec
February 1 – HCF at the Stampede Corral in Calgary, Alberta
February 9 – IQMMA II at the I.L.A. Sports Arena on the Six Nations Reserve, Ontario
February 28 – TKO 32 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec
March 7 – KOTC at the CN Centre in Prince George, British Columbia