For the second time this year, a Montreal-area MMA event has been canceled on short notice, leaving fighters and fans out in the cold. Challenge MMA, a new organization created by Gary Chartrand, manager of former Ringside light-heavyweight champion Steve Bossé (8-1), has been forced to call off its inaugural event, set to take place this Friday, after Bossé’s opponent Emanuel Newton (14-6-1) was declined a license to fight by Quebec’s athletic commission, la Regie des alcools, des courses, et des jeux (RACJ).
Fighters from outside Quebec are required to have an existing license from a governing body, either from another Canadian province or an American state, to compete in the province. With no such license to his name, Emanuel Newton was turned down by the RACJ. Newton (14-6-1) last competed at MFC 28 in Alberta this February, winning by 2nd round submission.
Without its main event, and principal draw, the show has been called off. Promotion for the event has been scant, with a complete fight card only appearing today on Fightworld.tv. Nine bouts were set to take place. Reports indicate other fighters were also denied licenses by the RACJ. Steve Bossé’s original opponent, Seth Petruzelli (13-6), famous for KOing Kimbo Slice in 14 seconds in 2008, was forced to pull out, reportedly suffering from shingles.
The show’s cancellation leaves the location of 29 year-old Steve Bossé‘s next fight uncertain. After starting his career in the TKO promotion following time spent in minor league hockey as an enforcer, Bossé competed twice for Ringside in 2009, following the end of TKO.
After taking two fights outside of Ringside in 2010, Bossé signed a one fight contract to return to the organization this April for Ringside 10, the organization’s first show at the Bell Centre. Set to defend his light-heavyweight title against Roger Hollet, Bossé pulled out of the fight after suffering an injury. Opting to take his next fight with his manager’s Challenge organization, Bossé was stripped of his title. Ringside has since signed fellow hockey enforcer Donald Brashear to a three fight contract, with Brashear gaining a quick 1st round TKO at Ringside 11 in Quebec City late last month.
Earlier this year, MFL (Major Fight League) 4’s March 12th event, was cancelled on only a few day’s notice by its promoter Dirk Waardenburg, due to either shortage of fighters, or weak ticket sales.
Other than the half-boxing, half-MMA UGC promotion, lead by Ali Nestor Charles, and set to hold its 27th event this Saturday, Ringside MMA is once more the Montreal area’s sole active MMA-focused promoter. A new organization, One Fighting Championship (OFC), is scheduled to make its debut this September, lead by retired fighter Fabio Holanda (6-6).
Challenge MMA director of operations Jean-Marc Emond was unreachable for comments at the time of publication. As such it remains unclear whether or not the organization’s debut will be rescheduled. [Update: RDS spoke to Emond. The event could be rescheduled for this fall.]