The Canadian agencies that oversee the fight game are a tough bunch to figure out. It seems like every event or proposed events the UFC attempts to bring north have to jump unforeseen hurdles. The UFC and one its fighter got wrapped into a crazy scenario last week where suspected ties to organized crime delayed a fighter getting his license for UFC 113 this week in Montreal.
David Loiseau, a veteran of eight UFC fights, which included one last year at UFC 97 in Montreal, was denied a license by The Régie des Alcools, des Courses et des Jeux (Regulators of Alcohol, Racing and Gaming). The issue? Quebec officials said that Loiseau was tied to organized crime because he owned a minority stake in the XMMA, a small MMA Quebec-based fight promotion. Without the time to wait for an appeal or investigation to be completed, the UFC had to dump Loiseau and replace him with Jason MacDonald to face John Salter.
"It’s ridiculous how they came up with this reasoning that I’m somehow involved with organized crime. It would be like me selling a car and the guy I sell it to is a criminal and he uses it to do a crime. Would I be held responsible for that or be investigated by the police because of it? Absolutely not," an emotional Loiseau told CagePotato.
Loiseau claims he sold his minority stake in the promotion before the allegedly shady ownership group tookover. He says the claims were baseless and you wonder if he thinks some of the issues had to do with race?
"They knew I wasn’t involved with those guys, but they were trying to prove a point that they were going to be tough on guys like this," said Loiseau. "They tried to make me out to look like Wesley Snipes from New Jack City. I don’t drink, have never so much as smoked a cigarette or done drugs and I’ve never even been in a street fight in my life and now I’m made out to be some gangster. It’s crazy."
Loiseau claims the only other tie to the gangsters was a photo of him shaking hands with the wrong person at the wrong time. Good news came down yesterday as Loiseau was cleared of any ties but it was too late to fight this week.
"Man, I honestly can’t believe this happened. It was humiliating. I haven’t slept in three days. I’ve been cutting weight because I was confident this would get sorted out. Now, even though it’s been proven that I’m innocent, my reputation and credibility has been damaged. I’m trying to decide what to do next, but taking legal action against the commission is definitely something I’m looking at," said Loiseau, who recently inked a four-fight deal with the UFC. "I’ve done so much to build this sport in Quebec. I was the first fighter from here to fight in the UFC, which opened the door for guys like Patrick Cote, Jonathan Goulet and GSP to fight in there. I try to give back to the community and the sport as much as I can. This was such a huge slap in the face that I’m actually still kind of in shock."
To make amends, the UFC has told Loiseau he'll be fighting next month in Vancouver at UFC 115. Additional problems with the Canadian agencies include that Vancouver event which was nearly moved last month because of insurance issues. UFC 97 was nearly cancelled when the RACJ discovered licensing issues with the size of the Octagon and foot stomping. Holding a card in Toronto has been on hold for years because the commissioner there refuses to budge from his anti-MMA position.
Images are from Sans Impression video featuring Loiseau
- David Loiseau