Fit Plus Coach Scott MacLean: Halifax’s UFC FN 54 “Reminded me of the Earlier Montreal Shows”
By Kelsey Mowatt
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has ventured into dozens of new markets over the last few years, and by the sounds of it, the promotion should be happy it included Halifax, Nova Scotia. The recent, October 4th, UFC Fight Night 54 card went down in the eastern Canadian community, and drew an announced attendance of 10, 782. The city’s population is less than 500,000.
“I think that the city received it well,” Fit Plus head coach and Nova Scotia resident Scott MacLean relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “It was packed. The atmosphere was insane to say the least. It reminded me of the earlier Montreal shows that used to sell out, and there was so much Canadian talent on the card; the crowd seemed to get behind everybody pretty good.”
Canadian markets like Montreal and Toronto have hosted memorable UFC cards in the past, and the promotion has also held events in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary and Quebec City.
“Yeah, it seemed they jumped on board,” said MacLean, when asked how UFC FN 54 was received by the region’s mainstream media. “I didn’t really hear as much as I thought I would, in the weeks leading up to it, but as soon as (Chris) Kelades got on the card it seemed to change.”
“Whether or not the week leading up to it, the local media was going to cover it anyways, I don’t know, but regardless, the last week the media jumped on board full tilt,” noted MacLean, while referring to the late addition of local flyweight Chris Kelades. “I was hearing about the event from a lot more sources.”
While UFC FN 54 featured several Canadian fighters, the only one from Nova Scotia was Kelades, who went on to decision Patrick Holohan in the card’s “Fight of the Night.”
When the Halifax card was announced initially, the hope was that the region’s TJ Grant would be able to compete at the event. Not long ago, Grant became the Province’s most recognizable fighter, thanks to five fight winning streak which included stoppage wins over Matt Wiman and Gray Maynard.
The Fit Plus fighter has been sidelined for well over a year, however, due to the effects of a serious concussion he incurred in 2013. Grant was forced to pass on two title shots as a result of his symptoms.
“As soon as he was added to the card, you could see that on Twitter, on Facebook, on the local media, it seemed to blow up and it gave the Maritimers that were already excited for the show, it gave them something to be a little bit more proud of,” MacLean furthered about Grant’s teammate Kelades. “It made the event a little bit more, from a Maritimer’s perspective, a little bit more ours and let the fans relate. That was a great thing.”
UFC FN 54 was hosted by the Halifax Metro Centre, and in the main event, Rory MacDonald took out fellow welterweight contender Tarec Saffiedine in round three.