by Marco Antico – MMAWeekly.com
Mixed martial arts fans, particularly those in Canada, have long been awaiting the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s debut north of the U.S. border. According to UFC vice president Marc Ratner, the wait may soon be over.
He stated to MMAWeekly.com, “The UFC is looking at April 19 right now to come to Montreal, Canada. It’s still tentative as we’re in final negotiations with the Bell Centre, but we’re very confident that it’s going to happen.”
The UFC’s plans to promote an event in Canada have been in the works for a very long time. Their plans have long hinged on the participation of current welterweight contender and former champion Georges St-Pierre. He is very popular in the U.S., but even more so in his home country of Canada.
“We really hope Georges comes through in his upcoming bout, win or lose, without any injuries because that would be a huge fight,” said Ratner.
It seems like the stars have aligned for St-Pierre of late. A month ago, he was sitting on the sidelines waiting for the outcome of a Hughes versus Serra title bout. Now, not only does he have an interim title shot against Hughes, but it also looks as if he may have the opportunity to then fight in front of his hometown fans.
If the UFC is able to secure a date in April for Montreal, other Canadians that are likely to be included on the roster include Jason MacDonald, Patrick Cote, and Jeff Joslin, though none of them have been confirmed by the promotion.