Report: Return of UFC to Calgary ‘uncertain’ if Flames remain in playoff picture

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
Folks, a couple weeks back, mixed martial arts reporter Ariel Helwani tweeted out that the Ultimate Fighting Championship was expected to host a show, UFC 289, in Calgary on June 10 at the Saddledome. Since then? We haven’t seen or heard much discussed publicly about the show.
Well, TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter shed a bit of light on what’s up. The gist of it is: the Calgary Flames remaining alive in the playoff picture has made the show “uncertain.”
Helwani tweeted about UFC 289 being planned for Calgary back on Mar. 28. The Flames have hung around the playoff picture since then, though, remaining mathematically alive. And that creates some potential challenges.
The Flames operate the Saddledome and generally, until they’re mathematically eliminated from the post-season, they have a hold on most dates from mid-April to mid-June – especially Saturday nights, when UFC shows usually run. UFC likely desires to announce the show and sell tickets, and they can’t do that until the hockey holds are opened up… which likely won’t happen until the Flames are eliminated.
UFC last ran Calgary for UFC 149 back in June 2012. Simply put, the show was a disaster. The original advertised main event was world featherweight champion Jose Aldo defending against Erik Koch, but Aldo was pulled due to injury five weeks before the show – one of nearly a dozen injuries that caused changes in the original fight card. The show itself was well-attended but not well-received, with fans chanting “Refund” during the main event between Renan Barao and Urijah Faber.
So needless to say, Calgary fight fans have been waiting for a UFC return engagement for awhile. We’ll see if one materializes.

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