Over the years, Canada has been a great home to the UFC. The promotion has put on great events there while plenty of dominant fighters have come from Canada. Fans expecting the company to return to the country in 2022 may be a little bit disappointed, however.
UFC President Dana White spoke with TSN's Aaron Bronsteter about a potential return to Canada. The last event the UFC had in Canada was in Vancouver in 2019. Justin Gaethje defeated Donald Cerrone in the main event via TKO. White discussed the current situation in the world thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected hosting events in the area.
“Uh, I don’t know yet. We’ll see. It all depends on how the world gets back to normal,” White said, via “Bad Left Hook.” “Obviously Canada is a huge market for us. Canada is a big part of our history — love it up there. “It’s just going to depend on whether the world gets back to normal. I wanna go back to Canada this year, but let’s see.”
Canada has provided extensive measures when it comes to travelers entering the country. Through the government’s website, you must use ArriveCAN to submit travel plans before being allowed to enter Canada. The country is open to tourists and has hosted several sports events, including baseball and the NHL playoffs.
Being vaccinated is a key indicator on what is possible in the country. For example, baseball players who aren’t vaccinated have not been able to play against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto. If you don't meet the requirements of a fully vaccinated traveler, you can either be denied entry into the country, quarantine for 14 days or quarantine until you depart Canada. The fighters of the UFC have made their own choices when it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine. White believes that is one of the main factors halting the promotion from going to Canada.
“I think that in Canada right now, we’d need a fully vaccinated card. Everybody on the card has to be vaccinated,” White said. “Yeah, that’s the problem.”
White had a similar stance when it came to Australia, which enforced a shutdown policy early in the pandemic. Since the COVID-19, the UFC has had events primarily in Texas, Florida, Las Vegas, Arizona and Abu Dhabi.