Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White are expected to make a “major announcement” next Tuesday in Toronto.
Naturally, people initially thought it could be the legalization of mixed martial arts in Ontario, however that’s not the UFC’s announcement to make. Since then, reports have surfaced suggesting Zuffa is opening a office in Canada in addition to their headquarters in Las Vegas and offices in the UK. Canada’s leading MMA reporter “Showdown” Joe Ferraro even thinks individuals with ties to the WWE could be involved.
Like they have done overseas in the U.K., I would not be surprised if the UFC announces the opening of “UFC Canada,” an office that will handle many of the current responsibilities that fall upon the staff residing in Las Vegas. Sources are telling me that former president of WWE Canada Carl DeMarco has approached the UFC about heading an office in Canada.
There are also whispers running rampant about former executive president of WWE Global Media Shane McMahon wanting a UFC office in Toronto, with him also suggesting the organization open an East Coast office in New York City. It was reported late last year that “Shane-O-Mac” was looking to become a minority owner in the UFC, and it is rumoured he has now approached the organization in hopes of buying a 5-10 per cent stake.
Canada, which Dana White has described as a “mecca” for MMA, is without a doubt a huge market for the UFC. Canadian UFC shows typically sell out faster than shows anywhere else in the world, plus the country houses some of the sport’s most passionate fans, so it makes sense for the UFC to set up shop there. But, we’ll have to wait till next week to see if that’s what they’re doing and what it might mean.
In other news, New England UFC fans have more than just UFC 118 to look forward to later this summer. Earlier today, the UFC announced their third UFC Fan Expo will be held during UFC 118 weekend in Boston, Massachusetts. The expo will take place at the Hynes Convention Center on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28.
Update: Former WWE Canada president Carl Demarco says he will not be heading up a UFC Canada office.
Despite a report issued today by Sportsnet.ca that DeMarco is expected to head a Canadian branch of the UFC, DeMarco today said that is categorically untrue.
“There’s no truth to it whatsoever,” DeMarco told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I know the UFC guys. I think it’s a great organization, and I have a lot of respect for them, but I just have way too many ventures on the go, and I absolutely have no time to assume a position like that. There’s no truth to that rumor whatsoever.”