- Category: Boxing & MMA
- Published Saturday, March 7, 2015
- Toronto Sun
It seems the UFC is fattening up Canadian fans with another event this year.
When the UFC announced its 2015 fight schedule back in November, Canada had one confirmed fight -- UFC 186 in Montreal.
Beyond the April 23 event at the Bell Centre, there was a grey waste land of half promises and wild speculation about locations for live events in Canada, neither confirmed or denied by the UFC.
But all that changed this week with a solid confirmation from Tom Wright, managing director of UFC Operation for Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
"Toronto's on the short list for an event in early December, but we haven't finalized that yet," Wright said. "The event on Aug. 23, is still on the Canadian calendar. We haven't announced yet exactly where it's going to be, but it's still early."
There is a hole in the UFC calendar this weekend, but an event Saturday was seemingly solidified for Windsor, Ont., only to be cancelled.
Wright says Windsor is not totally off the grid, but sometimes events don't happen for a reason.
"We were working on it, but we work on all sorts of events in all kinds of cities," Wright said. "We never announced it. Sometimes they come through, sometimes they don't. That was a case where it didn't happen for a time period in March, which is fine, but from my perspective, I'm glad we went there and did the homework. It's a great facility. We'll end up in Windsor at some point."
UFC visits to Canada used to be pretty standard stuff but 2014 marked the first time since '08 the company didn't put on a fight in Toronto or Montreal.
CHANGING IT UP
UFC middleweight Chris Weidman is make a change to his business plan.
Weidman has decided to go with Paradigm Sports Management for full service representation, after a visit to PSM's operation in Orange County, Cal.
The champ liked what he saw in SoCal.
"After visiting with their full staff and seeing their office it (was) clear this is a company who takes their business very seriously and has what it takes to give me 100% every day, which I feel I deserve," Weidman told MMAFighting.
PSM has a small stable of MMA fighters that includes Conor McGregor, Matt Mitrione and Micheal Bisping.
"Chris is at the highest level of professional mixed martial arts and is a recognized athlete throughout the world," Paradigm MMA Management president Audie Attar said. "You do not become a champion overnight. We are excited to work with such a strong, growing personality and athlete in 2015 and beyond."
Paradigm will join Brad Slater of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in representing the middleweight's business affairs.
Weidman is scheduled to defend his belt May 23 against Vitor Belfort at UFC 187.
The UFC Fight Night 64 card from Krakow, Poland will have two fighters pulled from the original card due to injuries.
In a released statement, the MMA juggernaut says two pugilists down means opportunities for others.
"With injuries taking out Peter Sobotta and Krzysztof Jotko of their UFC Fight Night bouts on April 11, the door has opened for a veteran welterweight and a middleweight newcomer to enter the Octagon in Krakow, Poland," a UFC statement said about the switches.
Russian Gasan Umalatov will replace Sobatta and face Sergio Moraes. On the middleweight side of the equation, UFC rookie Bartosz Fabinski replaces Jotko and will face Garreth McLellan of South Africa.
The event will take place at the Krakow Arena, with Gabriel Gonzaga against Mirko Filipovic in a heavyweight rematch from their 2007 fight at UFC 70 as the main event.
NOT ENOUGH RESPECT
Last week there was a rumour tumbling with the breeze that bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw was looking to cut some weight and, possibly, fight UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson at some undetermined point down the road.
Of course, for that to even come close to happening, there is the small matter of both fighters defending their belts at UFC 186 in Montreal.
Johnson will battle with Kyjogi Horiguchi in flyweight land and Dillashaw will knock gloves with former bantamweight champ Renan Barao.
The Brazilian lost his belt to Dillashaw almost a year ago at UFC 173 and feels slightly miffed he's merely an obstruction to Dillashaw.
The Baron promises he'll be more than that.
"It's a lot of nonsense," Barao told MMAjunkie. "He's boasting a lot about himself and this is not going to be good for him in the fight. He's way too cocky. He just got the belt. He thinks he's already defended the belt against me and he's speaking about fighting other people. He'll see what happens. Just wait."
Contrary to all the rumours circulating about Ronda Rousey fighting a man at some point in the near future, the bantamweight women's champ says that's not going to happen ... UFC fighter Conor McGregor would like to see the featherweight division changed from 145 pounds to the McGregor division.