For fight fans who are still disappointed with the UFC’s first trip to Calgary, Dana White agrees. Even better, he plans to make it up to you.
The UFC president told MMAfighting.com’s Ariel Helwani that it still bothers him that the event was one of the worst of the year and he wants to go back and “deliver next time.”
UFC 149, which took place on July 21 at the Scotiabank Saddledome, was so ravaged by injuries that every fight on the main card was different than originally planned. And while the undercard featured some exciting bouts, the main card was a flop.
Instead of Jose Aldo defending his featherweight belt against Erik Koch, the main event was a lacklustre one for an interim title between Renan Barao and Urijah Faber, neither of whom are bona fide stars in this neck of the woods. Meanwhile, the co-main event saw a very disappointing debut of Hector Lombard, who lost a split decision to Tim Boetsch.
When White came to Calgary a couple months earlier to officially announce it was coming to Cowtown for the first time, the reception was so great that when asked if the UFC would be coming back again next year, he said yes. But after fans’ interest in the event fizzled — with some asking for refunds and some even calling for the show to be cancelled — many wondered if Calgary would be on the docket for 2013.
It seems White feels the same frustrations.
“In all honesty, I think we delivered great events all year — except for Calgary,” White said. “I think that I’m always very confident going into an event that we’re going to deliver because the guys do, the guys always deliver, and we didn’t. We didn’t deliver in Calgary and that was probably the lowest of the lows.”
White went on to say that was even lower than the whole fiasco surrounding UFC 151 — the event it did cancel after Dan Henderson was injured less than two weeks before his headlining meeting with Jon Jones.
“It’s something that really bothers me and it’s the thing that stands out in my head the most that I do want to go back to Calgary and I want to deliver next time,” White added.
The boss did not confirm when that next time will be, but there is a good chance it could be next year. UFC director of Canadian operations Tom Wright recently said the organization will visit Canada as many as four or five times in 2013, with Montreal set for March and Toronto expected in September. Another summer show in Calgary is certainly in the cards.
And expect a great card this time, no matter what late changes may come about.