UFC to Montreal in April 09?

December 22, 2008

UFC Middleweight fighter Jason MacDonald does his blogging over at Sportsnet.ca and he dropped a little hint about the UFC’s next possible foray into the Great White North:

I don’t know what the new year holds for me. The UFC is supposed to be back in Montreal in April. But I would love to squeeze a fight in before that, perhaps in early February.

That would be a year after the showdown between GSP and Matt Serra. April would be an interesting date for the match-up. Many fans have cynically stated that it would be another year before the UFC came back to Canada, requiring all the Canuck fans to re-up their UFC fan club memberships in order to get first dibs on tickets for the show. Looks like they may have been on to something.

Any UFC event in Canada is more than likely going to see Georges St Pierre as the headliner on the card. Such a card would come quickly on the heels of a GSP vs BJ showdown in late January, giving St Pierre only two to two and a half months to prepare for the showdown. Also of interest would be his opponent. Thiago Alves is regarded as the number one contender and next in line for a title shot. Also looming is a possible fight for GSP at 185 with Middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva. Does the UFC jump straight to the mega fight and put on Anderson Silva vs GSP in Canada and watch the money roll in? Fighting BJ Penn with a quick turnaround to face Anderson would be a tall order for anyone, and most likely one that would get vetoed by a fighters management.

The other possible scenario is a GSP vs Alves showdown with Anderson Silva also featured on the same card, with the build being toward a late summer showdown between the two beltholders. Putting Anderson as the co-main with GSP vs Alves might assuage Silva’s unhappiness with his financial situation with the UFC. Anderson is paid on a PPV structure, but his poor drawing ability gives him a salary that isn’t commensurate with the status conferred upon him by Dana White as the best pound for pound fighter in the world. Silva recently nixed a showdown in London with Thales Leites, I would assume for financial reasons. A Euro PPV that usually draws a bit over 200k buyers would pay him even less than the usual 300k buys he does when headlining a PPV. Putting Anderson as the number 2 on a GSP in Canada card would ensure him a payday to keep him happy and set up another payday in the showdown with GSP. If the two are in separate bouts for the Montreal show it could still be economically feasible, since neither of the guys they would face would be receiving PPV cuts. In this respect it would be similar to UFC 87 where both GSP and Brock Lesnar were on the card but not facing opponents that were PPV draws worthy of a PPV cut.

All of this would presume GSP making it through a gauntlet of BJ Penn and Thiago Alves, which is far from a sure thing. How ever the fights are laid out, GSP looks to have a full dance card for the 2009 calendar year. If he is able to come out the other side of the year undefeated he’ll be able to lay claim as not only the best pound for pound fighter in the sport but also quite possibly the best mixed martial artist of all time.

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