Almost a year to the day after their initial northern excursion, the UFC is preparing for their sophomore event in Montreal and fighters like David Loiseau and Jonathan Goulet are being lined up.
Participants have been told that the event will be held on April 18. However, as of Monday, the Bell Centre -- which is the UFC’s venue of choice -- told Sherdog.com that no date has been officially booked.
The apparent hold-up is the as-yet unknown playoff schedule for the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. Right now the Canadiens are doing well and it’s expected that they’ll make the playoffs, and Saturday nights are often reserved for that storied franchise. However, a Bell Centre public relations rep did say that there are many dates in the Spring, April 18 included, that still might be taken by the UFC.
Several Canadian fighters have tentatively been scheduled to appear, including David Loiseau (18-8), who confirmed that he’s signed a contract to face Team Quest wrestler Ed Herman (14-7) and possibly Jonathan Goulet (22-10), who said he’s been offered a bout against Tamdan McCrory.
“I’m so happy to be back in the UFC, you have no idea.” Loiseau told Sherdog.com on Monday. “I believe this is where I belong and I’m very happy to be there.”
It’s been a long road for the popular Loiseau, whose last Octagon appearance came two years ago with a unanimous decision loss to Mike Swick at UFC 58. Since then, the French Canadian striker has gone 4-2, but has won his last three fights against Todd Gouwenberg, Andrew Buckland, and Solomon Hutcherson.
“Good opponent,” said Loiseau of Herman. “As long as the fight is exciting for the fans that’s what I want.”
Loiseau will remain busy until his middleweight return. At the moment, he’s in Montreal helping Denis Kang and Georges St. Pierre get ready for their next challengers in Alan Belcher and B.J. Penn respectively. Afterward, he’ll head off to Denver to help Nate Marquardt prepare for his next bout. Another short stint in Montreal will follow, and then Loiseau will spend the remainder of his preparation time with Greg Jackson’s camp in Albuquerque.
“You’re only as good as your training partners, and I’m very grateful to have all of these partners and trainers,” said Loiseau.
Victoriaville native Goulet has been offered a bout with lanky Northeaster McCrory, but before he can accept it, a doctor must give him clearance to train on an injured knee. Goulet has an appointment on Thursday.
“I very much wish that I will be able to fight, but right now I just wish that I could train,” he told Sherdog.com on Monday.
New Year’s resolutions
Most Canadians have a thing or two that we aim to do better every year, and fighters are no different. We all see things in our lives that we’d like to improve or work on, and that includes some of your favorite fighters and trainers. Here are some resolutions from Canada’s best and brightest:
Jason MacDonald: I’m a family guy and I feel like I’m a pretty great dad to my kids. I run a business and I try to be a good friend. I eat healthy and train hard so I’m not sure what I could give up. I’m not a smoker and I’m not a drinker, so I suppose my New Year’s resolution is to continue to try to get better as a fighter and keep putting on exciting fights for the UFC fans.
David Loiseau: I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I change things when I need to in my life, I don’t need to wait for January first.
Garett Davis: Learn how to swim, and learn how to fight.
Kultar Gill: Spend more time with my family, work lots on my jiu-jitsu, and help my team, Revolution Fight Team, become one of the best in the world.
Jonathan Goulet: Be closer to my daughter. For fighting, I want to be near the top-5 [rankings]; I want to fight more and I want to be one of the best fighters.
Lee Mein: At 41, to get back my girlish figure and help a couple more fighters break into the UFC. I want to keep things simple this year and really tighten up my fighters’ games.
Jordan Mein: Improve my skills on the ground and stand up, and to get bigger and stronger.
Jason Day: I don’t really have any resolutions this year.
Denis Kang: My New Year’s resolution is the same every year -- train harder, be more disciplined. Boring, I know.
Tim Hague: I hope to fight as many times as possible this year. I’d also like to make the jump to the UFC if they will have me.
Shawn Marchand: To continue working hard and to advance my skill level to become a much better fighter. Also to have a successful and active year.
Rory MacDonald: To dedicate this year to training as hard as I can and being as active as possible when it comes to fighting.
Georges St. Pierre: I’m sorry, but I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.
Ryan Jimmo: In the new year, I’m going to take my training to a new level. I’m also going to take better care of my body; in the past I’ve neglected injuries. In regards to my training, I’ve been holding back slightly with particular aspects so I wouldn’t peak so soon in my career. I’m going to start doing little things like wearing my mouth guard when I run so I get used to it. On a more personal front, I’m going to try and be a little more caring to those close to me and not so cold and distant. I get a bit reclusive when I’m training and I don’t want loved ones to feel the brunt of that.
Tim Skidmore: To not swear so much around my two-year-old daughter because she repeats everything she hears.
Krzysztof Soszynski: I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.
Dan Chambers: I am getting married in February 2009 so I hope to keep fighting and stay training around the few fights that I have coming up that will be big tests for me. I would like to test out both the 170- and 185-pound classes, as there are some tough guys in both.
Joe Doerksen: Not making any. Just living my life one day at a time.
Brad Cardinal: This year I want to train smarter and compete as much as possible.
Jason MacKay: Mental training and pre/post fight reflection. It’s time for me to start taking this game seriously, and that will begin with my thought process surrounding this sport and my intentions in getting the UFC to notice me. If I don’t start believing that I deserve to fight on the big stage then I will never perform to my potential and the world will never see what I’m capable of.
Sam Stout: My New Year’s resolution is to be more organized.
Roger Hollett: My girlfriend says my resolution is to save up and buy her a ring.
Nabil Khatib: Be a more organized badass mothaf----- that trains technique and strength and has a little cleaner diet too. Will start work on building MMA for Ottawa ‘cause Ottawa will kick ass.
Mark Hominick: Break into the top-10.
Rodrigo Munduruca: In 2009, I’ll be training super hard to try getting in the UFC. That is my goal and I know I can do it.
Jeff Joslin: Train hard and get myself back into competition shape by February!
Chris Currie: To start taking my training more seriously. My plan is to get a few sponsors in January, and with that money I’ll be hiring a strength and conditioning coach. Everyone will see a totally different fighter the next time I step in the cage.
Jason Motard: To be more active in fighting and destroying my next opponent in March at W1 MMA. I also want to ensure that fight fans see my student Louis Phillipe Carles shine, because he has a bright future in the sport.
Kajan Johnson: To become the No. 1 ranked Canadian lightweight.
Bill Mahood: To get back to training full time and fight a couple of times in ‘09.