UFC 97 has been saved. UFC 97: REDEMPTION, headlined by a middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva (23-4) and Thales Leites (14-1), is set to take place at the Bell Center in Montreal, Canada on April 18. However, the Quebec Athletic Commission’s rules regarding mixed martial arts almost forced the UFC to move the event to Las Vegas even after thousands of tickets had been sold.
UFC officials met with the commission on Tuesday, February 17, to try and salvage the event. The original rules of Quebec’s Athletic Commission would make certain techniques that are commonplace in UFC matches illegal. There was no way the world’s premiere mixed martial arts promotion could make such drastic changes as not allowing elbow or knee strikes, which incidentally are two of the main weapons used by the middleweight champion who would be appearing in the main event.