Bellator nixes Montreal, heads to Louisiana
Bellator Fighting Championship's May 29 event in Montreal has undergone a change of scenery. Due to conflicts with the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, which is the body that governs alcohol, racing, gambling and combat sports in the province of Quebec, the promotion has decided to move its Week 9 event to the Monroe Civic Center in Monroe, La.
MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday confirmed the change of venue with Bellator matchmaker
"We were having issues with the circular cage in Montreal," Stansell told MMAWeekly.com. "The commission was having difficulty with it. We're not willing to modify that."
A big part of changing the cage would be issues regarding the promotion's tournament style format. In order to maintain its sporting integrity, Bellator wants all of the fights in its tournaments to take place on the same "playing surface," so to say.
Another mitigating factor was difficulties in securing a visa for fighter Hector Lombard, said Stansell. Lombard is considered one of the favorites to win the promotion's middleweight tournament and the promotion would rather not have to replace him if a visa wasn't secured for a Montreal date.
In the end, the promotion felt that it had to move the show away from Montreal.
"In order to keep the integrity of the show, we decided to move it," Stansell stated.
The news of Bellator's move follows a report by Top MMA News that Canadian-based fight promotion XMMA had to cancel its event planned for May 16 in Jonquiere, Quebec. XMMA's matchmaker, Joey Benoit, cited "technical difficulties in dealing with the commission," as the promotion's reason for cancellation.
UFC 97, which did eventually take place on April 18 in Montreal, had also been in jeopardy when the commission, under new leadership this year, discovered conflict amongst its own rules and the manner under which promotions had been operating in Quebec for the past several years