Fight events battle it out on same night 0
Vitor Belfort of Brazil (L) fights with Anthony Johnson of the U.S. during the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Rio, a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, in Rio de Janeiro January 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes)
A few weeks ago I mentioned that the World Series of Fighting had opened a Canadian office and would be putting on an event in Vancouver on Dec. 7 at the PNE Agrodome. The main event sees hard-hitting light heavyweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (15-4) take on knockout artist Mike “MAK” Kyle (20-10-1), as well a middleweight tournament semifinal bout between Elvis “The King” Mutapcic (13-2) and Jesse “JT Money” Taylor (26-9).
Also on the main card is the undefeated Nick Newell (10-0), who literally fights with one hand. He will be up against a tough hometown boy in Sabah “The Persian Warrior” Fadai (7-2). The undercard will showcase some other great local pro talent in Micah Brakefield, Kalib Starnes, Matt Baker, Shawn Albrecht, David Perron and more. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., with the first prelim bout starting at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range between $40 and $300 depending on where you want to sit. Go to wsofcanada.com to purchase tickets.
Although it’s a great thing to see professional MMA return to Vancouver, Dec. 7 will be a busy night for the sport. Like I mentioned above, World Series of Fighting will be in town but they will have some competition on the same night. Battlefield Fight League hosts BFL 26, a pro/am event in Richmond at the River Rock Casino. The main event features BFL welterweight champion and Kelowna native Matt Dwyer (5-1) taking on 42-year-old MMA legend Shonie Carter (50-29-7). Also scheduled to fight on the card is Port Coquitlam’s Jeremy Kennedy and Vancouver’s Leo Xavier. The prelims will showcase some of B.C.’s top amateur fighters. Go to BattlefieldFC.com for all the details.
It’s an absolute shame that two solid cards will be competing head-to-head on the same night. With how expensive it is for promoters to put on an event, and the fact that local promoters need to work hard to fill seats, I worry that both organizations could take a big hit financially and not return. Local fighters need these shows to flourish and for two MMA events to be booked on the same night isn’t a sound business strategy. Not to mention the WWE will also be in town at the Pacific Coliseum, which will provide even more competition for the entertainment dollar.
The promoters at BFL (Jay Golshani) and WSOF Canada (Darren Owen) have given their reasons for the scheduled conflict and they are spinning it as a complete coincidence. In the future, it would be good for everyone involved to do a better job of communicating and working together so that this doesn’t happen again. Ultimately, it’s not healthy for the sport and nobody wins.