It turned out to be much ado about nothing. The UFC 97 saga that began late last week was wrapped up quickly with a meeting of the minds in Montreal. The Quebec commission that oversees combat sports realized two weeks ago that none of the MMA events that had been held in the province over the previous seven years had followed the law. With tickets officially going on sale just days later for UFC 97 at the Bell Centre, things looked bleak. With no word coming out the meeting, Tuesday night saw the web filled with rumors that the event was off and that UFC officials told Quebec to shove it. UFC 97 was canceled in Montreal and was officially moved to the MGM Grand Garden Arena according to TheMMAFiend.com from sources within the Anderson Silva camp.
The promotion did not send president Dana White to the Tuesday meeting. That was surprising because he is seemingly involved in everything the UFC does down to editing his own video blog. Neil Davidson from the Canadian Press points out that it was a group of four, headed by UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta. The process was amazingly easy and most of the rules "differences" were worked out:
Elbow strikes? Not allowed, countered the UFC - at least when the elbow is in the 12 to six position.
Referees checking on downed opponents? The UFC argued that its refs were the best in the business in protecting a fighter who cannot continue.
Knees? The two sides discussed taking and delivering knees.
Size of the cage? The commission waived the rules definition.
Judo-type throws? Never came up.
The only rule in kept in place by the folks in Quebec, no foot stomps. Pretty crazy. Looks like a full-house of 21,000-plus goes a long way in "changing" the law. Next time, maybe a phone call is enough.