The big news coming out of the UFC camp in the build-up to UFC 102: Couture vs. Noguiera was that the UFC is eyeing a third trip to Canada in June of 2010 with the likely destination being Vancouver, B.C.
A trip to Vancouver, B.C. would be huge for both the city and the UFC. Being from there and having traveled to the city numerous times, I can personally attest to the passion for MMA that the people have up there. Plus, with the olympics set to hit the city in February of 2010, there probably is no city that is going to be more ready for a big time event, not to mention how much publicity it will give the UFC for doing a show just four months after the world's best winter sport athletes perform in the same building.
It will also be the UFC's second trip to the Pacific Northwest after this weekend's venture into Portland, Oregon. From all looks of it, the venture into Portland was a very successful one. The event was attended by 16,000 plus, drew a $1.92 million gate and had some very exciting fights.
The biggest obstacle right now for the UFC is the fact that the province of British Columbia doesn't currently sanction MMA. The UFC hopes that that will change within four months, giving the promotion plenty of time to plan a summer 2010 event for the second biggest city in Canada.
What makes the sport hard to ignore for the city and the province as a whole is the revenue that it will bring to a city that desperately needs some after all the expenditures dished out in preparation of it hosting the olympics. This event accompanied by a possible UFC fan expo will do just that for the city.
The target venue according to UFC president Dana White is GM place, home to the Vancouver Canucks and a 19,000 plus seat arena.