On April 19, 2008 the UFC finally made its Canadian Debut and although it can only be held in Quebec due to legislation and a lack of an MMA council in Ontario, I truly hope that it will open the door to the UFC eventually making its debut in Ontario especially at the Skydome.
UFC 83 showcased many Canadian fighters which I definitely liked even if most of them were on the under-card.
The first televised fight between Bocek and Danzig was a better fight then I expected, especially with the undefeated lightweight Bocek at the disadvantage of debuting in Canada against The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 6 winner and welterweight turned lightweight Mac Danzig.
Not what I would have expected for first matches for either fighter but a good solid match overall. I was very impressed with Bocek's tenacity even after taking a hell of a beating in the late second round and just before the final (lots of heart unlike some we will mention later). I would love to see Bocek tested at his weight class against say Rich Clementi just to see what he can do. As for Danzig, I'll chalk up his inability to get the KO to Bocek just being able to handle alot of punishment rather then Danzig's lack of strength or skill due to cutting weight.
The second fight between "Captain Miserable" and Michael "The Count" Bisping was a farce. I will never understand the UFC desire to give every single fighter that goes through TUF a contract to fight.
"Chainsaw" is a fool and proved it when he started taunting Bisping and then after taking the beating he rightfully deserved didn't even have the heart to get up and come back out for the second round but got up and congratulated the winner pretty quick when he wasn't in any more trouble. That was a disgraceful thing to do and I hope McCarthy gets fired for it.
Now if that wasn't bad enough then we have the worst fight of the night by far with Kalib Starnes (a Canadian that I was expecting ALOT more from) taking on Nate "Rock" Quarry (who I don't fault at all for the poor match).
Kalib was another example of why the UFC shouldn't bring every single fighter back from TUF events. Why would you just run away from your opponent the WHOLE MATCH? That's gutless and just plain stupid.
You're at the Canadian PPV premier for the top company in MMA and you DON'T FIGHT!!!!! Why are you even their then?!?! Nate deserved better then this and he tried to get the win the right way even going so far as to taunt Kalib by covering his own eyes and fighting left handed.
Next the fight between Rich "Ace" Franklin and Travis Lutter. Now we ALL knew who was gonna win this match and I really didn't see what the point was for it in the first place. Travis was coming fresh off of his TUF4 finale victory and immediately got a title shot against the new Middleweight Champion.
However, on the biggest night of his life he failed to make weight and lost the opportunity to fight for the title and lost the non-title match in the second round just as most of his other loses with the exception of the only win he has been able to get in the second which was only 33 seconds in (this doesn't say much for his conditioning).
Now Rich Franklin is in the unique position of being the second best fighter in the division, however, he still isn't ready to challenge for the title he lost to Anderson Silva at UFC 64 and then failed to regain at UFC 77. No disrespect to "Ace" but Silva is just unstoppable right now and whoever does finally take the title from him will probably have pulled off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Needless to say, Rich is still in title contention with a victory over Lutter who has now suffered back to back losses against major players in the Middleweight division.
Finally, the main event EVERYONE was waiting for. Would Serra beat St. Pierre again, this time in his home province or would GSP prove that it was a fluke the first time. I'll admit I was a little nervous after all to lose so convincingly in the first round by TKO was shocking enough but to drop the title in what was supposed to be his first title defense was just unbelievable.
Then I saw the first 30 seconds of the fight and knew without a doubt that the "Complete Fighter" was back and would become the UFC Undisputed Welterweight Champion.
All in all the event was a great success with the UFC bringing in a calculated gate of over $5 Million and an all time UFC attendance record of 21,390 definitely proving without a doubt that Canada is great for the UFC.