The UFC is targeting January for the organization’s first ever event in Canada reports confirmed. The UFC has tried on multiple occasions to bring the promotion to the country but scheduling conflicts and other delays have constantly pushed the event back though the UFC now appears set to finally make it’s long-awaited debut in Canada.
There has been a buzz about a possible UFC event in Canada in 2008 ever since Georges St. Pierre recovered from his unsuccessful title defense against Matt Serra at UFC 69 with a convincing win over fellow-top contender Josh Koscheck at UFC 74 in August. The win earned the native-Canadian a chance to recapture the welterweight Championship though that opportunity will not come at this event. With current champion Matt Serra fighting Matt Hughes at the UFC’s final event of the year, UFC 79, St. Pierre will have to wait until spring of next year before his opportunity to reclaim the belt is fulfilled and will not appear on the January fight card.
The event will be held in the Bell Center in Montreal. The venue is the home of the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens. The hockey club’s winter schedule along with other events scheduled to be held in the arena made it difficult for the UFC to find an opening to hold an event in the arena.
No date has been announced though January 12th appears the most likely. With the Canadiens occupying the arena on January 5th and 19th it left the UFC with Saturday openings on January 12th and 26th. January 12th jumps out as the most likely date with the UFC tentatively planning an event several weeks later on February 2nd, the day before the Super Bowl.
The UFC is likely to return to Canada later in 2008 to feature St. Pierre in a Welterweight Championship main event.