UFC bringing bloodsport to the Peg on June 15

The Octagon is coming to Winnipeg!

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will host UFC 161 at the MTS Centre on June 15, as the UFC tries its hand in a new Canadian city, having previously hosted events in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.

“We’re proud to add Winnipeg to our list of Canadian UFC cities,” said Tom Wright, UFC director of operations for Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. “The city has an impressive resume in terms of teams including the Jets and Bombers as well as major events such as the Grey Cup and Pan Am Games. We can’t wait for Winnipeg to experience the UFC.”

“Canadians love their MMA and we love bringing it to them,” added UFC president Dana White. “There are many Canadian cities on our radar and we hope to visit as many as possible.”

“We’re excited to make Winnipeg happen and can’t wait to bring a stacked card to the MTS Centre.”

White looks to be good to his word, as the fight card is shaping up nicely. Just like in the previous fights in Canada, the undercard fights promise to have some good Canadian Mixed Martial Arts talent, with Sean Pierson of Toronto already signed on to fight in welterweight action. No, there will be no Georges St-Pierre on this card, as the premiere Mixed Martial Artist from Canada will be between fights after his title bout against Nick Diaz this upcoming weekend.

An interim bantamweight title fight is slated to occur between Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland, as the two fighters go at it at 135 lbs. However, the big draw of the evening has to be a pair of light heavyweight fights between UFC veterans.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will face Antônio Rogério “Lil Nog” Nogueira, and “Suga” Rashad Evans will be taking on Dan “Hendo” Henderson. These are fights of surprising quality, as each of those four fighters has established themselves in MMA with over 20 bouts.

Those two bouts alone should be enough to fill the MTS Centre, provided the tickets aren’t too costly. We’ll find out if that’s the case when tickets for the event go on sale on April 12.