UFC Ottawa Post-Fight Press Conference News and Notes

UFC executive David Shaw spoke to reporters following UFC Fight Night 151 from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Here’s some news and notes from the event’s post-fight press conference:

  • Attendance at Canadian Tire Centre was 10,960. The gate was 1.08 million Canadian and 807,000 U.S.
  • “Fight of the Night” went to Donald Cerrone vs. Al Iaquinta. “Performance of the Night” went to Walt Harris and Macy Chiasson. Each fighter won $50,000
  • The UFC had to open up additional sections to the venue due to ticket demand in the days leading up to the card.
  • Shaw admitted the card wasn’t the greatest, but said it was saved by Andrew Sanchez vs. Marc-Andre Barriault and, of course, the main event between Cerrone and Iaquinta.
  • Shaw praised Cerrone for being willing to step in and fight anywhere, anytime and put on great fights for the fans.
  • Shaw had no idea about what’s next for Cerrone given that he’s not a matchmaker, but admitted the idea of a McGregor fight is interesting.
  • The UFC believes that Canada is headed in the right direction as the UFC looks to strengthen its ties with minor-league Canadian promotions that are developing young talent.
  • Shaw also spoke about regulatory changes in Ontario being a good thing for the sport, as the province has four times as many MMA cards booked so far in 2019 than it held in all of 2018.
  • Shaw said the UFC needs a new Canadian star to replace the retired Georges St. Pierre. He said the UFC is always looking to have a local star for all the different countries it travels to around the globe.
  • The UFC has a partnership with the Quebec-based TKO MMA promotion to develop fresh, new Canadian talent.
  • Shaw praised the crowd for being educated, booing when it was fair to do so and cheering the fighters when it was deserved.
  • Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton are on the UFC’s radar, and Shaw said the UFC will likely return to Ottawa within the next couple of years.
  • The UFC wants to come back to Vancouver this year. It may not be a PPV and instead could be a Fight Night card.
  • Shaw said he likes Arjan Singh Bhullar’s confidence and liked how he brings a Sikh audience to the UFC.
  • India is on the UFC’s radar and Bhullar could help them have a successful event there.
  • Shaw said that the UFC would like to re-sign Bhullar, whose UFC contract recently finished up after he went 3-1.
  • The UFC is making big pushes in Russia and China. The UFC will be going back to Russia twice a year. As for China, the UFC is opening a massive Performance Center there for athletes from all over Asia and Australia.
  • The UFC wants to space its Canadian events out this year, but is planning on having one in the summer and one in the fall.
  • The UFC is looking at Windsor and London as potential stops if it comes back to Ontario for a Fight Night card.
  • Someone asked about the UFC going to Hamilton, and Shaw said if the UFC comes to that area of Southern Ontario it might as well go to Toronto instead of Hamilton.
  • The UFC didn’t want to skip the ceremonial weigh-in for UFC Ottawa, but it wasn’t feasible to have one due to the event taking place in Kanata, just outside the city.

Written by Adam Martin.

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