I've continued to research the circumstances leading to the Quebec Athletic Commission (I know that is not what it is called, but it's easier) throwing a major wrench into the UFC machine. It would seem many fans are placing the brunt of the blame on Stephane Patry, the promoter of the Strike Box card that has been seen as something of a tipping point. However, I believe most of the blame should be placed on the ineptitude of the past and present members of the Quebec Athletic Commission. James Thompson deserves a little blame as well.
Here's a quick rundown of events: Strike Box wants to do stand up only, something like kickboxing with clinching allowed. The commission will not allow these rules and forces the event to use standard MMA rules. An agreement is made amongst the fighters that they will keep the fight standing. James Thompson does not honor this agreement saying he never knew of it and Stephane Patry said, "James Thompson is full of sh**. He's the biggest loser I've ever met in my life."
Thompson takes Steve Bosse down and pounds on him, referee Yves Lavigne can't do anything about it because technically they are following MMA rules, and the fans, who don't know of the commission's demands to follow MMA rules lose all control.
Apparently this caused the commission to review their own set of rules and they have realized that for the past ten years or so they have been allowing MMA events to operate with rules that were not allowed according to their books. So now they are reverting back to the old rules which pretty much fit what Patry wanted to do with Strike Box in the first place - talk about supreme irony.
The previous commission members screwed up in not changing the rules or enforcing them. And now the new commission is screwing up because they have decided that after all this time they will follow the old rules even though over 13,000 tickets have been sold for UFC 97 only two months away.
To top it off, the current commission is stating that they didn't even know about UFC 83 held last year in Montreal - a huge event that featured Georges St. Pierre, Canada's 2008 Athlete of the Year!
This is icing on a cake that is filled with chocolate we don't know what the hell we are doing cream. If the commission insists on following its old rules, it will significantly hurt the integrity of MMA as the UFC will have to move to a new location. Chances are this won't happen. Stephane Patry, the man who inadvertently brought this mess to the surface, said in an interview on Sherdog radio, "I think the whole athletic commission in Quebec right now is in a very bad position because they've been sanctioning the sport under the unified rules for over ten years. And now all the sudden there's a new president in place and now he decides let's enforce what we have in the law book instead... [The lawyers are saying] ‘Listen guys, you've been doing this for ten years and there's no way you can go back and change what you've been doing for ten years.'...Like I said I'm not a lawyer, but apparently they [the commission] are not allowed to do what they are trying to do right now."
The commission needs to let everyone know that they have been screwing up (for ten years). They can't make the rule changes in time, and therefore they will do business as usual based on past practices for all events already currently scheduled in the province. Any new events not currently scheduled will fall under the old rules until the commission can review its policies and make any changes it deems appropriate. That way UFC 97 will happen and the new president and commission can save a little bit of face.
If they choose to go the other route Katie bar the doors because Dana [expletive] White is coming to town!
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