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With NHL Lockout, Canadians May Not Have Hockey Night, but They’ve Got UFC Night

Posted on by Ken Pishna

UFC LogoCanada in recent years has become known as a mecca for mixed martial arts, an honor that has been contested recently by Brazil, but to the mainstream sports fan, there is not contesting the heart of Canadian sports. Just as baseball is synonymous with American sports, hockey beats in the heart of Canadian fans.

With the NHL (National Hockey League) in full lockout mode right now, however, hockey night in Canada has been shut down, leaving fans in a lurch.

Fear not, says UFC Canada boss Tom Wright, the promotion is stepping in to save the day.

UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort takes place Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre – which holds upwards of 20,000 fans for concerts – with Wright promising to return in September of 2013 and 2014, as well.

While the promotion isn’t drawing the attention that it did with Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields at UFC 129 in April of 2011 – when it drew nearly 56,000 fans to the Rogers Centre – Wright believes that the absence of hockey leaves the UFC with a golden opportunity.

“It’s the third time in a very short period of time,” commented Wright, when asked about the lower level of zest surrounding UFC 152 compared to UFC 129. “I think there is a lot of competition for the sports dollar.”

But despite less pep in the UFC’s step than there was for UFC 129, Wright is confident that the fighters will deliver the goods and give forlorn hockey fans something to root for.

“I think right now what’s really exciting is there is going to be a great opportunity for Canadians to watch and engage in our sport because there is a void right now,” stated Wright. “Hockey is on lockout. There are a lot of fans that want to watch sports and we’ll happily fill that void.

“We may not have hockey night in Canada, but we can have UFC night in Canada and we’ll fill that void.”

  • somecokehead

    Ok … One UFC event makes up for a season of hockey? My question is, how long til the UFC fighters follow the professional sports trend of sticking it to the fans and going on strike? Pro athletes make too much money. Will this ever change?

  • voltaire

    You won’t fill that void at 50 bucks a pop.

  • MikeMc1983

    I can’t imagine someone who likes something as boring as hockey would also be a fan of combat sports.
    I always figured hockey fans just watch figure skating whenever they can’t watch figure skating with a stick.

    • Cptmats

      Hockey is boring ? I hope you don’t watch Football or Baseball ! Hockey is awsome, nothing but constant action !

      • MikeMc1983

        The fact that people are almost always in motion doesn’t make it non stop action.
        They’re on ice for gods sake. It’s harder to come to a complete stop than it is to stay in motion.
        Hockey fan reminds me of water polo fan in high school. I understand Canada can’t seem to produce any great athletes so they use a sport that uses ice as an aid to the player. As agonizing as soccer is to watch, at least they don’t use cheap aids.
        Don’t let me bother you guys though. Do what the rest of Canada does during the NHL lockout, go jerk off while watching the mighty ducks trilogy over and over again.

        • phrankthetank

          I’m not exactly sure how playing a sport on a slippery surface is an ‘aid’ to players, I imagine playing football or soccer on ice would make it considerably more difficult. The ducks were developed into a California hockey team so I’m not sure how that applies to Canada. As for not producing elite athletes,even if you disregard the entire NHL which is 50% Canadian, Names like Steve Nash and.. Oh yea, Georges St.Pierre come to mind….

  • omcclave

    What is hockey? Is it another b rate promotion? Why is there an article about this?

    • lawrensco

      There’s an article about this because it’s relevant.

      You seem to come across as the typical American D-bag. You probably think because you don’t watch hockey then nobody watches hockey (because of your typical American D-bag mentality). And therefore couldn’t even put together the 2 simple connecting factors that this card is taking place in Canada.

      But I guess in your defence, because of your typical American D-Bag mentality, you could be totally unaware of where Toronto even is. So if that is the case, then ill clear it up for you.

      This article was written because Ufc 152 is in Canada and Canadians like hockey.

  • onehitwonder

    All sports have their boring moments, UFC is the only sport i’ll watch anymore. and as far as going on strike, isn’t that kinda what Jones did when he refused to fight Chael? ok,ok,I’ll let it die.

  • trevor

    Dear absolute morons,

    Hockey is the best sport in the world.

  • phrankthetank

    I do enjoy hockey, but I will say this. I’ve been to the ACC a dozen times, and I’ll be there again tomorrow… But I’ve never gone for a hockey game.

  • richhanes

    Maybe I’ll get lucky, and a hockey game will break out at the fight.