Photo by Susumu Nagao
With the UFC scrambling to find a late replacement for the injured Nick Catone at next Saturday's UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun 2 in Montreal, one name that popped up on the UFC radar was former middleweight title contender and Quebec native, David "The Crow" Loiseau. However, only hours after Loiseau's name came up as a possible replacement to face John Salter, news broke that Loiseau had been denied a license to fight by the Quebec Athletic Commission for unspecified reasons. Loiseau was clearly upset as he complained on his Facebook page:
10 years of my life to the sport of MMA. Opened doors for Quebec fighters, put Quebec on the map, helped built the sport in Quebec. Now the Quebec commission wont let me fight... UNACCEPTABLE.
Now, Joe Ferraro of Sportsnet Canada has broken the story that the "unspecified reasons" that led to the Commission's denial of Loiseau's license involve ties to organized crime:
Sources tell me that Loiseau is on some sort of invisible suspension list, stemming back to when he sold his previous MMA promotion, "XMMA". He had apparently decided that his fighting career should be his priority and walked away after the sale. When it was all said and done, those who took over the organization were allegedly involved with organized crime.
Loiseau has maintained that once he left the company, he was unaware of what the organization began doing and that he was no longer a decision maker for XMMA. In essence, what they did was their business - he was focusing on returning to the UFC.
But although only one party was charged after the organization folded, many of those who fought, worked or were literally around XMMA, have felt the brunt of the QAC's iron-fisted approach to doing business.
Fighters were questioned about their involvement, with many apparently being threatened that they would never be licensed again if they didn't "answer questions".
This is not the first controversy involving the Quebec Athletic Commission and the UFC, as UFC 97 last spring was nearly cancelled at the last minute, because the Commission demanded the UFC implement some minor rule changes (one of which banned foot-stomps) just days before the event, because of the Strike Box debacle.
When Ferraro first broke this story, Jason MacDonald had not yet been brought on as a replacement for Loiseau, and the Commission was still implying that they were trying to get Loiseau licensed:
Regean Theriault of the QAC informed me that a request was made to the police for a criminal background check of Loiseau's record. The police have yet to reply, and that is apparently the reason for the hold up. He also suggested that if the QAC does receive the file and all is well, Loiseau will receive his licence on May 3.
It seems clear now that the UFC wasn't comfortable with waiting that long to get Loiseau licensed, and they simply axed him. Whether or not Loiseau is on some sort of MMA "no-fly list", it's a shame that the Crow won't be given the chance to compete because of allegations that, despite seeming shaky at best, still haven't been investigated thoroughly nor expediently.