Zak: Why do you think that MMA and the UFC are so popular in Canada is it the history of hockey and hockey fight?
Ryan: Oh fuck no. I'd actually say hockey kind of keeps MMA in the shadows to a degree. Like take a look at the last time the UFC came to Montreal, it was a huge success and it sold out in minutes but as far as the city and most people were concerned, the only thing going on were the playoffs [the Montreal Canadians were in the NHL playoffs].
There's no definite answer for why we have such a high percentage of fans compared to the US, but if I was only allowed to pick one factor I'd say it probably has to do with pro wrestling. Canadians were retarded about it, then they grew up and grew right into the UFC.
Zak: Right, the Hart brothers.
Ryan: Yeah, plus hey maybe you can equate the low intelligence of Torontonians as to why they enjoyed it so much. But I think in the end it's also a bunch of smaller factors like how our government treated the sport and how medicare exists here. Personally I have no idea how smaller-level MMA exists in the US at all without having full-coverage healthcare
Also the expansion of the internet, which was really good in city centers. Everyone in America was still on dialup when DSL and cable were pretty much old hat in Canada. The internet was a necessity to be a fan a few years back, so it'd make sense that better internet access meant more fans
So there's my several pronged theory for why Canada is a hot spot
-- Ryan from Fightlinker talking to Zak Woods about MMA in Canada (don't miss the red hot maple leaf pic in the post).