Toronto

UFC coming to Toronto in December after 3-year absence

The UFC is returning to Toronto after an absence of more than three years. The mixed martial arts promoter announced Friday that UFC 206 is scheduled for Dec. 10 at the Air Canada Centre.

No immediate word on headliner but timing would work for return of St-Pierre

35-year-old Georges St-Pierre from Montreal took a hiatus from the sport after a narrow split-decision title defence over Johny (Big Rigg) Hendricks at UFC 167. St-Pierre said at the time he needed time away from the spotlight, but kept training. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The UFC is returning to Toronto after an absence of more than three years.

The mixed martial arts promoter announced Friday that UFC 206 is scheduled for Dec. 10 at the Air Canada Centre. There was no immediate word on the headline but the timing would work for the return of former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who has not fought since November 2013.

The 35-year-old from Montreal took a hiatus from the sport after a narrow split-decision title defence over Johny (Big Rigg) Hendricks at UFC 167. St-Pierre said at the time he needed time away from the spotlight, but kept training.

In recent days, he was rumoured to be interested in a shot at middleweight champion Michael Bisping and reportedly exchanged texts with newly crowned welterweight title-holder Tyron (The Chosen One) Woodley. But UFC president Dana White subsequently set up a rematch between Bisping and Dan Henderson and said that Woodley's first title defence would be against No. 1 contender Stephen (Wonderboy) Thompson.

While away from the sport, St-Pierre (25-2) had to undergo surgery after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during a wrestling session. He was operated on by Los Angeles-based surgeon Neal ElAttrache, who looked after NFL star Tom Brady's knee in 2009 and also repaired St-Pierre's first ACL injury in December 2011.

The December show will be the fifth in Toronto. The last UFC card in Toronto was UFC 165 on Sept. 21, 2013, when Jon (Bones) Jones defended his light-heavyweight title against Alexander (The Mauler) Gustafsson in an epic bout.

Their UFC 178 rematch was originally slated for September 2015 in Toronto but was moved to Las Vegas.