Posted On:4/06/2009 8:49pm
Vancouver's loss is Tennessee's gain: UFC explodes into Nashville
Vancouver City Council last week rejected pleas from B.C.-based mixed martial arts enthusiasts, fighters, trainers and their own athletic commission to regulate the sport in B.C.'s major city. Barely a week later, the city of Nashville, Tennessee got to see what all the fuss was about as the Ultimate Fighting Championship juggernaut marched into town, filled a stadium, and put on one of the better MMA events in recent years.
Over 10,000 ticket holders and a national TV audience were on hand for a midweek fight card that was light on big names but heavy on action as U.S. welterweight Carlos "Natural Born Killer" Condit took on Denmark's Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann in a toe-to-toe main event that split the judges.
According to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, local council wants the B.C. provincial government to put rules, refs and judges in place, and decide what events can happen in downtown Vancouver, rather than rely on a 'patchwork quilt' of municipal regulators.
In putting off a yea-or-nay vote on MMA, Robertson asked city staff to prepare a report to determine whether there is any economic benefit in allowing the sport downtown.
Tennessee Democrat State Senator Doug Jackson, sitting ringside for the debut UFC Fight Night event in his state, has a ready answer for Robertson.
"Anybody that thought that this wasn't worthwhile legislation, then they're not here tonight,'' Jackson told The Tennessean newspaper. "And this sport will get bigger and bigger. It will bring millions upon millions of dollars here to Tennessee every year. It's a wonderful sport but more importantly, it's going to bring a lot of money to the economy."
The event generated $626,000 at the gate. Companies sponsoring the UFC event included Budweiser Beer and Harley Davidson.
The card featured 11 fights in total, only one of which ended with a knockout, and was the second MMA event in the state since local legislators decided to create an athletic commission to oversee boxing, wrestling and MMA.
In late February, regional fight promotion XFC held a card in nearby Knoxville that drew almost 6,000 fans, but the 10,000 that turned out for UFC's Fight Night was a record total for a non-pay-per-view UFC show.
When asked by local reporters whether the UFC would be back for more in Tennessee, UFC President Dana White didn't hold back; "Hell yes, we're coming back to Tennessee. We'll probably do a pay-per-view in Memphis."
Local detractors were reportedly upset that there was no minimum age limit for fans at the event, and were also disturbed at the blood spilled in the main event when Kampmann suffered a gash to his face in the first round.
Kampmann was hit with a knee lift by Condit that caught him under the left eye, but while blood was certainly spilled and stitches were later required, the fighter dominated for long periods and seemed to suffer no ill effects from his injury.
For three full rounds, Kampmann and Condit grappled, boxed, and body locked their way through an amazing technical bout that left the winner of the event a secret to all until the final judging scores were tallied.
Condit told reporters he thought he did enough to win. "I felt like I did more damage," he said.
But the judges (at least two of the three in attendance) thought differently, giving the decision to the Dane.
In other fights on the card, Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan "Darth" Bader beat experienced wrestler Carmelo Marrero by unanimous decision, while Tyson Griffin and Rafael dos Anjos enjoyed a back and forth slugfest that was dubbed the "Fight of the Night" by UFC officials.
Ultimate Fighter bad boy, Junie "The Lunatic" Browning had talked tough before the event about how his opponent Cole Miller was overrated, but Miller put on a clinic in grappling Browning to the mat and applying a guillotine choke to end the fight by submission inside two minutes.
MMA would be huge in Vancouver as well. As well as Toronto.
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Ad Hominem rocks.
Posted On:4/06/2009 9:30pm
Style: BJJ, mma
God I fucking hate Vancouver.
Posted On:4/06/2009 9:31pm
I live in vancouver. This sucks. I want more mma!
Edit: Your sig says horrorshow. Did you like the book?
Edit: Ninja'd!! Hey Vancouver isn't too awful.
Last edited by Zombiechao; 4/06/2009 9:35pm at .
Posted On:4/06/2009 11:55pm
Style: Much striking, SAMBO, BJJ
Good article. The government in Vancouver is not very bright.
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