The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is expanding at the highest rate in company history. The world leader in mixed martial arts (MMA) is no stranger to Canada. When Georges St. Pierre was active, there was no hotter ticket when it came to Canadian sports. UFC 129, headlined by St. Pierre, held the UFC record for highest attendance with 55,724. That record remained intact until UFC 193.
Despite making its presence felt in Canada, the UFC has yet to hold an event in Edmonton. That may change this year. Oilers Entertainment Group CEO Bob Nicholson, spoke to the Edmonton Sun. He revealed he is negotiating with UFC owners WME-IMG to bring a pay-per-view (PPV) card to Edmonton:
“The date hasn’t been confirmed. That’s one of the key things we’re working on,” said Nicholson. “We’re trying to make it a summer to an early fall date. That would be best for our scheduling. But that’s really controlled by their championship bouts that we have to work through.”
Nicholson isn’t just thinking about the UFC slapping together a throwaway card and calling it a day. He’d like to see a title fight at Rogers Place.
“But we are getting close to being able to obtain a UFC (event), which would be huge for us. Hopefully we’ll announce something in the springtime here. That’s what we’re really going after. There’s never been a UFC title fight in Edmonton. They do about 12 to 14 title fights a year and we’d like to get one of those. When it comes to TV numbers, that would be the biggest we’d get.”
The last UFC event to take place in Canada was UFC 206 last month. Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis headlined the card for the interim featherweight championship. The event was held inside the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Over 18,000 fans were in attendance.