There had been talk of having five events scheduled for the upcoming 2013, but UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright confirmed today that the promotion will host four shows in the ‘Great White North’ and plans to hold five events in both 2014 and 2015.
Wright spoke with MMAjunkie.com recently about the UFC’s plans for expansion, which still includes putting together a ‘TUF: Canada’ series.
“Things are going more strategically, and I say that because we originally looked at a Canadian fight series, but I think what you’re going to see is that we’re going to expand the number of actual fights that come to Canada,” Wright told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “This year we’ll have three: Toronto, Calgary and Montreal. Next year we’ll have four, and in 2014 and 2015 we’ll probably have five events. But we’re not going to have what you might traditionally refer to as a Canadian fight series, like a Brazilian fight series or an Asia fight series or something like that.
“Actually, the smaller promotional competition here is quite developed, so there’s actually a lot of opportunities for athletes to compete and to grow. So instead, we’re going to augment those four events 2013 and five in 2014 and 2015 with a couple things. We’ve talked about ‘TUF: Canada,’ which we’re still working on and hope to be able to do it in the second half of 2013. We’re working towards that timing. It’s still premature to announce exactly where, when and how, but it’s in our planning works for 2013. And we’re also looking at what I would call a grass-roots outreach program, where while we may not take an actual fight to smaller communities.”
Wright goes on to discuss the UFC’s plans to work with regional partners to develop a stronger base of fighters in Canada while waiting for Federal regulators to amend the Criminal Code of Canada which currently classifies mixed martial arts as prize fighting. Individual Provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec, have implemented their own regulations to govern the sport but other Provinces have yet to regulate the sport and are waiting to see how the Federal government amends the current law.
It is certainly an interesting read, so I recommend that you take a few minutes to read over the article.