Mixed Martial Arts

UFC sorts out differences with Vancouver, UFC 115 is a go

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The Canadian Press
3/31/2010 5:36:11 PM
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The on-again, off-again UFC show in Vancouver is a go. At least according to the UFC.

UFC president Dana White confirmed to The Canadian Press that the mixed martial arts card will take place as scheduled June 12 at GM Place.

With insurance a major sticking point, the UFC played hardball and the MMA juggernaut appears to have won the day.

A Vancouver city spokesman, while optimistic, was not declaring it a done deal yet.

"Negotiations are ongoing and we're very hopeful," said Wendy Stewart. "They're continuing and we're making progress.

"At this point discussions are underway."

There was talk Monday of moving the show to Cincinnati. That was followed by the UFC giving city officials 24 hours to sort out the issue or else, according to a source.

Vancouver will be the second Canadian city to stage a UFC show.

The UFC has already held two cards in Montreal -- UFC 83 and 97 -- and plans a third -- UFC 113 -- next month.

Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang had said the city was facing a problem that the province of B.C., unlike Quebec, had not agreed to provide the city with indemnity, meaning the city could not be sued "for any reason arising from one of these events."

While the UFC has to provide insurance of its own, the city had to look into additional insurance in the form of $10 million in third-party liability, according to Jang. GM Place would also need insurance.

Complicating the matter is the Criminal Code does not provide an exemption for MMA, as it does boxing, causing the city concerns that any insurance claims might be denied.

But Marc Ratner, the UFC's vice-president of regulatory affairs said Tuesday he was confident the outstanding issues could be settled. He was proved right a day later after the some tough bargaining tactics.

In December, Vancouver city councillors voted six to three to approve a two-year trial period for MMA, opening the door for a UFC show that could generate millions for the local economy.

But under the pilot program, promoters must ensure the city can't be held liable for damages.

Ontario is the next Canadian target for the UFC. The province, home to a rich vein of MMA fans, has yet to sanction the sport.

Downtown Vancouver (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
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