Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 03/6/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
Arm bars, leg locks and rear chokeholds will be executed by the best in the business inside the Octagon at the MTS Centre on June 15.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world's largest mixed martial arts promotion company, officially announced it will make its Winnipeg debut when it stages UFC 161.
Tickets will go on sale to the public on April 12 but prices have not been announced yet. While the UFC 161 fight card is expected to be announced in coming weeks, UFC president Dana White told USA Today Sports the main bout will be a rematch between Brazilian veterans Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans could take on ex-Strikeforce titleholder Dan Henderson, who is waiting for medical clearance. MMAjunkie.com reported a welterweight bout between Jake Shields and Tyron Woodley is also expected.
"Winnipeg is the perfect, logical next step in our commitment as an organization to build the sport of mixed martial arts and to introduce our athletes and our events to as many communities across Canada as possible," Tom Wright, UFC director of operations for Canada, said at Tuesday's press conference in Winnipeg.
Wright, the Canadian Football League commissioner from 2002-06, said Winnipeg will be the fifth Canadian city to host a UFC show. There have been previous UFC events in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. UFC 158 will be held in Montreal on March 16.
"Winnipeg represents the longitudinal centre of North America, it is the gateway to the West and is the centre of Canada," Wright said. "To be able to come here in the summer of 2013 in our 20th anniversary year and bring our sport and our athletes to the centre of North America is something that we've longed to be able to do, and now we have that opportunity."
Depending on what the UFC decides for the undercard, there could be opportunities for local MMA fighters. A local source told the Free Press that "nothing is confirmed yet, but all signs point to yes" that Roland "Stunning" Delorme of Winnipeg will fight on his sport's biggest stage in his hometown. Delorme, 29, is a bantamweight who competed on the Ultimate Fighter in 2011. He's already fought in three of his five UFC contract fights. Other local names for consideration could include Joe Doerksen, a former UFC fighter, and Curtis Brigham, who will fight at AFC 16 Uprising on March 23 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. UFC fighter Krzysztof Soszynski of Winnipeg told the Free Press he won't be on the card "due to health reasons."
Giuseppe DeNatale, who promoted seven Canadian Fighting Championship events in Winnipeg from 2009-11, said having UFC 161 in Winnipeg is a big step locally for the sport.
"It's great for the city and great for the sport of mixed martial arts. Everyone locally has been waiting for the UFC to come here for many years," said DeNatale, a former fighter who is the owner and head instructor at the Canadian Fighting Centre. "It's going to expose more people to the sport of MMA. It puts Winnipeg on the map, especially with the pay-per-view."
UFC 161 will be shown on pay-per-view for $49.99 (standard definition) or $59.99 (high definition).
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 6, 2013 A6
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
City recovering slowly from yesterday's heavy rain
Blue Bombers urge fans to get to the stadium early
Developers' cash wanted like a sore thumb
Selinger blasts Harper for saying Fontaine murder not indicative of larger issue
Wicked review: Popular musical proves itself totally Oz-some
Handi Transit operator and former Iraqi refugee becomes ninth mayoral candidate
Steeves promises to kill second phase of rapid transit
Ouellette would expand donor disclosure rules for mayor, councillors
Fire at RM of Hanover barn kills 1,100 pigs
Quebec police take Lac-Megantic probe to U.S.
Teen charged after allegedly stabbing man with sword
Federal public works minister meets with Manitoba aerospace industry reps
Medical examiner calls inquests into three suicides
Havixbeck says hiring freeze necessary after city's financial outlook downgraded
Maryk's sentencing in child abduction case delayed until Sept. 11
Dad's slaying devastated teen
Interpol seeks clues to Thai 'baby factory'
Poll shows many white Americans see race getting too much attention
Crane River teen last seen in Winnipeg
Despite consecutive losses, Bombers don't see Als contest as a must-win
Crop-production drop expected
Snubbed candidates fuming
Sin City sequel stylish, but too much sordid sex and violence beats viewers to a pulp
Province's retailers ring up $1.5-B worth of sales in June; up slightly over May
Manitoba's inflation rate falls in June
Royal Bank earns record Q3 profits of $2.38B
2 UofO hockey players charged with sex assault
Palliser goes platinum
Get ready for some more rain
Alcohol a factor in teen ATV driver's collision with vehicle
UN: death toll from Syrian civil war tops 191,000
Hamas kills 18 suspected informers to deter leaks
Union sorry for appearing to trivialize racism
West condemns Russia over convoy to Ukraine
German man evicted for squeaky swing set sex prop
India blocks film on Indira Gandhi assassination