UFC president Dana White was asked repeatedly in the months and years prior to UFC 83 at the Bell Centre in Montreal on April 19, 2008, about when he'd bring a show to Canada.
After the card's phenomenal box office success, there was little doubt that Canada had become one of the UFC's top markets. The event attracted a UFC record 21,390 fans, who paid a live gate of $5.1 million. It sold out in just 24 hours and the gate was the second-largest in UFC history.
They were coming to see the rematch between hometown hero Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra. Serra pulled off one of the most improbable wins in UFC history when he knocked out St. Pierre as an 11-1 underdog at UFC 69 a year earlier in Houston.
St. Pierre, who had won the interim belt when Serra was off for a long time because of a back injury, established himself as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport with a dominant performance.
St. Pierre hammered Serra from start to finish, winning the first round on 10-8 scores, and stopped him at 4:45 of the second round.
Kalib Starnes spent most of his fight against Nate Quarry running in circles away from Quarry, who mocked Starnes late in the fight. Starnes lost on scores of 30-27, 30-26, and an unheard-of 30-24. Starnes was cut by UFC president Dana White and responded by complaining about his contract.
Michael Bisping made his middleweight debut a successful one by stopping Charles McCarthy. He was dropping from light heavyweight and delivered a solid effort in a first-round TKO.
The UFC filled the card with Canadian fighters. Including St. Pierre, there were eight Canadians on the 11-bout card, including Quebec's Jonathan Goulet, who earned Fight of the Night Honors for his TKO win over Kuniyoshi Hironaka.
Quoteworthy: "This time Georges kicked my ass." – Serra, on dropping the rematch to St. Pierre.
Jonathan Goulet def. Kunyioshi Hironaka, 2:07 R2
Cain Velasquez def. Brad Morris, TKO, 2:10 R1
Rich Clementi def. Sam Stout, split decision
Jason MacDonald def. Joe Doerksen, TKO, 0:56 R2
Demian Maia def. Ed Herman, submission (triangle choke), 2:27 R2
Jason Day def. Alan Belcher, TKO, 3:58 R1
Mac Danzig def. Mark Bocek, submission (rear naked choke), 3:48 R2
Michael Bisping def. Charles McCarthy, TKO, 5:00 R1
Nate Quarry def. Kalib Starnes, unanimous decision
Rich Franklin def. Travis Lutter, TKO, 3:01 R2
UFC welterweight championship: Georges St. Pierre def. Matt Serra, TKO, 3:01 R2 (St. Pierre wins title)
- Matt Serra
- Dana White
- Kalib Starnes