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Tsuut’ina Nation courting Michael Bisping, Jake Paul fight

The Tsuut’ina Nation is wooing the potential combatants in an MMA super fight they’d host just outside of Calgary.

Former UFC champion Michael Bisping and social media star and pro boxer Jake Paul have been going back and forth on social media about a potential fight.

Apparently, Paul offered Bisping $1 million, plus a pay-per-view bonus if he could get licensed to fight. Bisping, who has damage to one eye, has been looking for a place to fight.

Calgary-based fight promoter Kieran Keddle, who works with the Tsuut’ina Nation on bringing combative sports events in, said the Bisping/Paul talk has been bubbling away for nearly a year. 

Keddle, who has connections to Bisping in the MMA world, messaged the fighter’s team months back and set up a conference to talk about bringing the fight to the Tsuut’ina Nation.

“At that particular time, we had an investor on board that was going to make this fight happen, and then Jake Paul decided to compete (against another fighter),” Keddle said.

“That deal sort of went out of the water.”

Three days ago, Bisping’s team reached out to Keddle. They asked if they could still get the Tsuut’ina Combative Commission to sanction the fight.

“And I said, absolutely,” Keddle said.

He talked with the commission about bringing the bout to the Seven Chiefs Arena. Keddle knows the commission members through his dealings with fight promotions.

“I reached out to them and said, ‘Look, if I could bring this to the Reserve, it would be huge for the Tsuut’ina, huge for Calgary, it would be huge for everyone, you know, especially after COVID,’” Keddle said.

50/50 chance of hosting, Keddle said

Keddle said they knew it had to get legal approval and that it would still be subject to health and safety approval, even with Bisping’s eye damage.

Once they got the green light, Keddle said Bisping’s team requested a video from the Tsuut’ina commissioners saying they could host the fight.

Then, Bisping posted that video to Twitter, egging Paul on.

The pair have gone back and forth on social media since.

It’s not a done deal though. Keddle admits it’s got a 50/50 chance of coming to the Calgary area. The contract is out there, the sides just need to make a decision.

“I thought well let’s try and push the boat a little bit more. And let’s see what we can get from this,” Keddle said.

No specific date has been set, though the venue would be the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex. That modern fieldhouse-style venue opened in 2019.  The fieldhouse capacity is listed at 5,000 people.

Keddle said an event there two weeks ago attracted a crowd of nearly 3,000.