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French language papers: Dana White headed to Quebec next week to save UFC 97 show

By Zach Arnold | February 14, 2009

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According to a new post at Corus Sports, there will reportedly be a meeting next week between the RACJ (which oversees the Quebec Boxing Commission) and UFC President Dana White in regards to what rules UFC would have to abide under for the April 19th event in Montreal at the Bell Centre. The report claims that this meeting will either make or break the event from taking place.

Both Jason MacDonald and Joe Ferraro are hopeful that cooler heads will prevail. The Canadian Press? Maybe not so bullish.

Richard Labbé of La Presse, which is a big French-language newspaper in Canada, seconds what the Corus Sports report claims and says that it was White (not the QBC) that asked for the meeting to save the show. La Presse quotes Réjean Thériault, who has been adamant about the QBC going back to pre-Unified rules, stating that the rules the QBC would be going back to are similar to those in Ontario (where MMA currently isn’t legislated). Thériault is insisting on no knees or elbows. Here is the quote that will get Réjean Thériault a lot of heat:

«Et pourtant, les gens du UFC n’ont toujours pas obtenu de permis pour présenter leur événement, a rappelé Réjean Thériault.

On souhaite qu’ils puissent présenter leur carte malgré tout, mais ils devront le faire selon nos règles.»

I’m not fluent in French, but the message seems clear (and I’ll paraphase) — UFC can present their case, but they will have to run the show according to our rules.

Thériault is also quoted as saying that ‘the old administration’ of the QBC was tolerant of the Unified Rules, but that the laws the QBC wants to enforce now are the same ones that have always been on the books. Again paraphasing him, he told La Press that if the UFC wants to run a show at the Bell Centre, they will have to follow the rules. Thériault is not publicly wavering yet on the possibility of UFC canceling the event.

Topics: Canada, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 21 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

21 Responses to “French language papers: Dana White headed to Quebec next week to save UFC 97 show”

  1. jerrymechanic says:

    I still dont understand how exactly the strikebox thing caused the commission to do this. Can someone explain?

  2. Rollo the Cat says:

    looks like the event is doomed.

  3. [...] Arnold has a good round-up of everything going on in Quebec at the moment. Long story short, the RACJ seems to be hunkering [...]

  4. [...] Fight Opinion has the scoop: According to a new post at Corus Sports, there will reportedly be a meeting next week between the RACJ (which oversees the Quebec Boxing Commission) and UFC President Dana White in regards to what rules UFC would have to abide under for the April 19th event in Montreal at the Bell Centre. The report claims that this meeting will either make or break the event from taking place. [...]

  5. Steve4192 says:

    From the Sun article:

    “The rules also say that if a fighter is knocked down, the referee must send his opponent to a neutral corner. They also forbid judo-type throws — “using any other part of the body than the hands, arms, feet or legs, to make an opponent fall.”

    There is ZERO chance whatsoever that the UFC will hold an event under these rules.

  6. robthom says:

    I wouldn’t put it past him. He’s a devoted and bullheaded feller.

  7. [...] Zach Arnold has a detailed report on the situation over at Fight Opinion, and honestly, it doesn’t look good. The RACJ appears to be pretty stubborn about the whole situation. These new rules they’ve talking about (no knees or elbows, halting a fight when a fighter gets knocked down, etc.) are basically old rules that have always been in their rulebook, however, the individuals running the commission before essentially ignored them and let organizations abide by the Unified Rules of MMA. Now, with new management in place, they’re determined to make everyone play by the rules in the rulebook. [...]

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    For an economy that isn’t doing overly good, to just throw away a $3 Million gate (which will get taxed), not to mention the revenues it brings into the city…. Is just insane. Especially when the UFC isn’t changing anything or asking for anything out of the unusual.

  9. [...] White har åkt till Kanada för att försöka övertala Quebec Athletic Commission att inte ändra reglerna och därmed omöjliggöra UFC 97 i [...]

  10. Pierre-Luc Allie says:

    The media is finnaly talking about mma in Quebec.

    It’s sad to say but if they let the event moving forward, UFC 97 would have a strong following in the press even know they didn’t write anything on UFC 83.

    The boxing press, even them who don’t like mma, are against what’s going on.

    If they same the event, I think it can become a blessing in disguise.

  11. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    This is the most bizarre thing I’ve seen in quite a while. The commission is telling UFC that they can’t hold an event unless they commit to the rules of strikebox, immediately after telling strikebox that they couldn’t hold an event without adhering to the unified rules.

    Who exactly has had their head chopped off here?

  12. Pierre-Luc Allie says:

    This is not what’s going on.

    The RACJ had wrote mma rules prior to the unified rules. They were used one time only. And they want to go back to these rules.

    There are no knee, no elbow, no standing submission and no submission that are not choke, arm lock or foot lock.

  13. RIS says:

    Dana White doesn’t strike me as a good last minute negotiator.

  14. Ultimo Santa says:

    By changing the rules like this (or going back to the ‘original rules’ or whatever) – and essentially banning the UFC from Quebec – who, exactly, are they making happy, and who are they screwing over?

    UFC fans? Screwed.
    MMA fighters? Screwed.
    Local food and lodging providers? Screwed.

    It seems the only people they’re making happy are local boxing promoters, who won’t have to deal with MMA potentially taking some of their business now.

  15. Steve4192 says:

    “It seems the only people they’re making happy are local boxing promoters”

    It doesn’t sound like they are too happy about it either, as they are likely to be the next target for a political shakedown.

  16. samscaff says:

    What exactly about the strikebox event caused the commission to do this? I dont get it.

  17. Zack says:

    Are these Canadian shenanigans giving anyone else bad Extreme Fighting flash backs?

  18. IceMuncher says:

    The QBC only hurt themselves by doing this. The UFC, the fighters, and the fans will have no real net loss, since the UFC will just move the event elsewhere.

  19. Chuck says:

    “What exactly about the strikebox event caused the commission to do this? I dont get it.”

    Strikebox ran an event where they tried to use their own rules. Namely no ground work allowed. It would have been like shootboxing matches, only in a cage and not in a roped ring. The commission wouldn’t have it, so the promoter (the name escapes me now) had all the fighters to make gentleman’s agreements with each other to let each other get up after they are taken down. The main event was James Thompson vs. Steve Bosse. Thompson took Bosse down, and didn’t go by the gentleman’s agreement. He stayed on him with a sidemount and rained down some mounted punches on him. The fans basically went “what the fuck?!” and started throwing beer cans in the ring in disgust, and the fight was declared a no contest. Oh, and Bosse tried to attack Thompson afterward. It was just a huge clusterfuck.

  20. [...] of Quebec, Dana White will be meeting this week with the Régie des Alcools, des Courses et des Jeux — which governs alcohol, racing, gambling and combat sports in Quebec — to [...]

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