MMA is a-okay: Ontario to allow mixed martial arts after all
It’s amazing what a black hole where your budget used to be can do: after moving to legalize online gambling, Queen’s Park has decided that maybe, just maybe, an activity that is legal in Quebec, British Columbia and most American states is permissible here. That’s right, mixed martial arts, and specifically the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is coming to Toronto. The Toronto Sun is all over this story:
[Dalton] McGuinty—not a fan of the sport—announced Saturday that his government will officially sanction and regulate the wildly popular MMA, allowing matches to be fought within the province’s boundaries.
“Our government has been monitoring MMA for some time. We know that the sport has evolved and that Ontarians want to see it here.” Sophia Aggelonitis, minister of consumer services, said in a statement.
Not to look a gift horse in the chin guard, but the most recent example of the McGuinty government bad mouthing MMA was last February. If MMA is evolving so quickly that it went from abomination to allowed in six months, we really need to watch out. (A cynic might think that this had something to do with money.) After all, the Sun reports that the UFC could potentially bring in as much as $4 million in taxes for the province.
The dream for fans is for Quebec-born champ Georges St.-Pierre to fight in Toronto. It could happen next year if the UFC is willing to juggle the schedule a little bit. There’s a good chance of this: Marc Ratner, a UFC VP, has said, “Canada is the Mecca of the sport. Toronto is one of THE MMA cities in the world.”
Inevitably, not everyone will be happy with the sport coming to Ontario. Let’s all hope that Queen’s Park holds on to this decision longer than they did with the whole sex-ed thing, or legions of angry and violent UFC fans will descend on the city. Think, G20 II: This Time It’s Personal.
• Mixed martial arts coming to Ontario [Toronto Sun]
• The economic case for UFC [Toronto Sun]
• Coyle: The new Dalton McGuinty is willing to make bold decisions [Toronto Star]
• Zelkovich: MMA coming to Ontario and TV set to cash in [Toronto Star]
• Ontario to allow mixed martial arts from 2011 [Canadian Press]
• Ontario to approve mixed martial arts events [CBC News]
4 thoughts on “MMA is a-okay: Ontario to allow mixed martial arts after all”
It is about time that mma will be sanctioned in Ontario. Ontario has by far one of the most die hard fan bases.This will most definitely be a financial boost as well. I can hardly wait to see a Ufc event occur at the Roger’s center whether or not it is a superfight between Georges St. Pierre And Anderson Silva or not.Not to mention the fact a lot of Ontario’s own talent may not necessarily have to travel as far to compete.Overall a good call.
The last 2 sentences in this article are completely ridiculous. To suggest that MMA fans coming to Toronto would be violent and angry is highly misinformed. Many uneducated detractors of MMA had this negative view when MMA was legalized in Quebec and Vancouver. There were no reported issues at events in Montreal in Vancouver. In fact, building security and police officers believed that UFC fans were of better behaviour than fans who would attend concerts or other sporting events. I can also assure you that there have never been any incidents of gang vandalism as seen by some G20 protestors. Though I don’t agree, I can accept the writer’s argument that MMA is being legalized for purely economic reasons. The parallel however that is drawn between MMA fans and G20 protestors is laughable makes this piece lack credibility.
You tell em Matt Bryans! I doubt theyll delay GSPvkoscheck that long to have it in Canada. Predicting full sell out show with 1.3MM ppv buys.
I will be competing by 2011 it will be good not to have to travel to outside of Ontario when initially starting out anyways. I’m very happy about Mma being allowed within Ontario this is going to explode even more within the province. Btw have to agree with the last two posts Mma fans are typically less inclined to be idiots causing trouble than fans of most sports.
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