Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White wants to redeem his organization in the eyes of fans in Calgary, Alberta, Canada after a UFC 149 fight card that "didn't deliver" last July at the ScotiaBank Saddledome.
When tickets went on sale for UFC 149 --the organization's debut event in Calgary-- last May, the fight card featured a slew of big names including Jose Aldo, Michael Bisping, Mauricio Rua, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Jon Fitch and Yoshihiro Akiyama. Tickets for the event sold out in a matter of days and it was expected to be one of the UFC's blockbuster events of the summer.
Unfortunately, over the next couple of months fighters scheduled to compete at the event dropped by the wayside due to injury and other circumstances and the result was a pay-per-view (PPV) portion of the card that did not feature a single bout fans originally paid for tickets to see.
It's wasn't first time a UFC fight card has been plagued by injuries -- what made matters worse was the fact four of five bouts on the PPV went to a decision and did not provide much in the way of entertainment.
A large contingent of Calgary fans vocalized their displeasure for the card in the form of profanities, and now White --who says the event was his low point in 2012-- wants to make it up to those very same fans.
"In all honesty, I think we delivered great events all year...except for Calgary," White told Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting in a UFC 155 pre-fight interview in Las Vegas. "I think that I'm always very confident going into an event that we're going to deliver because the guys do, the guys always deliver, and we didn't. We didn't deliver in Calgary and that was probably the lowest of the lows. Even canceling the Jones event wasn't as bad as the Calgary event. You know, we went in there, we sold out, and there was a lot of people who - that were upset about that Calgary event."
White did not state when the UFC will travel back to Canada's second-most western province of Alberta, but UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright was recently quoted saying the Octagon is scheduled to travel north of the border five times in 2013, so a return in the next calendar year isn't out of the question.
The show last July still digs away at the UFC boss and whenever the organization does put on it's sophomore show in Calgary, White plans to win back the faith of the fans and deliver the type of event that was expected to take place the first time around.
"It's something that really bothers me and it's the thing that stands out in my head the most that I do want to go back to Calgary and I want to deliver next time."