Results 1 to 9 of 9
The UFC is coming to Ontario. Mixed Martial Arts Regulation Too I Guess
The UFC is coming to Ontario.
On Saturday, the ministry of consumer services announced it is “taking steps to allow professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events in the province.”
Adopting the same rules used in other North American jurisdictions, the province said the first event will be held in 2011, with 10 to 15 events annually. Ontario joins six provinces and 46 states that have already regulated the sport.
UFC president Dana White responds during a question-and-answer session in Toronto, Tuesday, March 23. 2010.
“We have been monitoring this sport for quite some time, and it has evolved,” said Minister of Consumer Services Sophia Aggelonitis. “Ontarians have told us they want to see this. They want the choice.”
Those close to the sport called it phenomenal news.
“We’re all ecstatic,” said Noble Chummar, UFC’s Canadian lawyer and a partner at Cassels Brock. “Our efforts have paid off.”
Chummar said the turning point in the battle to bring the UFC to Ontario was when the province “realized how important it is to regulate the sport for the economic advantages and for the tremendous safety advantages.”
Chummar said Premier Dalton McGuinty and Aggelonitis are “obviously in touch with what people want.”
Tom Wright, the Director of Operations for UFC Canada, said the battle to bring the UFC to Ontario has going on for a decade.
“Canada is a mecca for mixed martial arts and Ontario is obviously the largest province. It’s very significant for the sport,” he said.
Wright said the first event will be “big” but there are a lot of regulations that still need to be worked out before he can speculate on just how big it will be.
Aggelonitis said regulations will soon be posted, and the UFC will be monitored by the Ontario Athletics Commissioner Ken Hayashi.
“Adherence to the rules is the number 1 issue,” Aggelonitis said. “As soon as an athlete goes into the ring, they have to be licensed competitors, there has to be appointed officials, and medical professionals and the fighters have to be of the same calibre.”
She estimated the economic benefit of a 20,000 person event is usually $4 to $6 million.