Ticket to UFC 97: $250

Transportation to Montreal: $200

Fresh poutine from Maam Bolduc : $9

Watching Chuck Liddell beat Shogun as though Chuck was still in his prime: Priceless

Strikebox fiasco cancelling UFC97: what the #@$%!

That was the news earlier in the week on UFC97. Thirteen thousand tickets have been sold and ladies and gentlemen – we have a problem.

While Strikebox was not referenced in any official press releases, let’s review the chain of events:

1. UFC 83 in Montreal breaks attendance records and is a huge success

2. The UFC announces they are returning to Montreal for a second event

3. Strikebox (the next generation of Canada’s former TKO promotions) holds a mixed martial arts style event in Quebec

  • The fighters agreed ahead of time to fight by a certain set of rules that were different than the rules as required by the province’s athletic commission
  • James Thompson clearly had his fingers crossed behind his back when he agreed to follow the unwritten rules of the fight as he immediately broke all of them
  • Thompson “wins”, the fans riot tossing beer cans and chairs, we have chaos and everyone leaves wondering how it made sense in the first place to hold an MMA event and tell the fighters as they walk into the ring that they can’t do certain things

2. One week later, completely coincidentally of course, the Quebec athletic commission announces there will be rule changes for UFC 97 that would all but make it impossible for the UFC to hold a true event in Montreal

3. Thank you Strikebox, I have a lot of tickets to UFC97…

For clarity and fairness to the athletic commission, these are rules that have apparently always been in place. They were just ignored.

These are by no means insignificant rules that are being proposed as required for UFC97 – things like prohibiting elbow and knee strikes both standing and grounded and utilizing a standing count when a fighter has been knocked down. Sound like a UFC fight?

The UFC’s public statement is that they are confident it will all work out. What else could they possibly say at this point? As a ticketholder I’m hopeful, but as an observer of Quebec politics I’m realistic that my ticket is going to be exchanged for a chance to watch Guy Lafleur skate around the Bell Centre.

Just a hunch.