UFC 83: UFC's First Forray into Canada

Chris WalshContributor IApril 17, 2008

It was April 7th, 2007, and Georges St. Pierre was set to defend his title for the first time against Ultimate Fighter Four winner, Matt Serra. Most people's thoughts on the subject were that St. Pierre would decimate Serra in a very quick, decisive battle...

They were wrong. Serra pulled off the upset at 3:25 in the first round. He unleashed a flurry of punches, knocking St. Pierre out and taking the UFC welterweight championship.

Serra was supposed to defend his title against Matt Hughes, but because of a back injury was unable to defend his belt. Who took Serra's place? None other than Georges St. Pierre.

This was the third fight in the Hughes/St. Pierre trilogy, and in many ways, more anticipated than the Hughes/Serra fight. The fight was a definitive conclusion to the trilogy when St. Pierre finished Hughes via armbar with six seconds left in the second round, claiming the controversial interim welterweight championship and setting the stage for a long awaited rematch for the undisputed title.

Enter UFC 83.

April 19th, 2008 at the Bell Center in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This is the first ever UFC event to be held in Canada. This will be the stage for the rematch one year in the making. The only question concerning this match is whether or not fighting in Montreal will affect St. Pierre's game. There's little doubt that when he has his head on, very few people can take out Georges.

While the main event is highly anticipated, not much can be said about the undercard, which can best be described as a sub-par ultimate fight night. Even the Travis Lutter vs. Rich Franklin match holds little appeal. A former middleweight champion against the guy who had a shot at the belt but couldn't make weight.

Michael Bisping has his first fight in the middleweight division against Charles McCarthy, in a bout that leaves much to be desired. The other matches are all fights that seem lazily thrown together, with Canadian fighters thrown in only to try and appeal to Canadian fans.

The thing is, although it's the first UFC in Canada, Canadians don't need to see a Canadian in every other fight. The event was sold out before the full card was even set, which should only prove that Canucks want to see quality, "UFC-calibre" fights. Personally, besides the main event of course, none of the other fights seem worthy of a pay-per-view. I hope things go well so that Canadians aren't disappointed with the UFC's arrival. Only time will tell.