UFC lobbies in Ottawa to open provinces to MMA

September 30, 2011

The CBC reports that UFC stars Mark Hominick and Yves Jabouin lobbied Parliament requesting a change in the Criminal Code in Ottawa. While Canadian MMA fans are some of the most dedicated to the sport, only 6 of the 10 provinces sanction the sport due to uncertainty with federal law.

The article focuses on the lobbying efforts of the UFC and while no one could deny that UFC 129’s mainstream exposure and monetary success is a definite factor for the push to change the code, the UFC stressed the “safety and cross-country consistency” as reasons for amendment to the law.

Via CBCSports.ca:

Current federal law says anyone who engages in or aids, abets, umpires or reports on a prize fight “is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.”

The only exception to the “prize fight” definition in the law are provincially sanctioned events in which “the contestants wear boxing gloves of not less than one hundred and forty grams each in mass.”

Judging from Thursday’s reception, there appears to be all-party support for changes to the federal law, so the event was less about lobbying legislators than it was about swinging a skeptical public over to the merits of the latest “sweet science.”

Canadians Hominick and Jabouin, were part lobbyists and part celebrities as they posed with locals as they fielded questions about their sport.

Payout Perspective:

While the UFC stresses the safety regulations as the reasons for the change in the laws, its obvious that the economic impact is an overwhelming reason why Canadian provinces should warm to MMA regulation. Realistically, reading the article it appears that the code is in need of an update as the legislation likely occurred in a time when MMA did not exist. Certainly the economic success of UFC 129 in Toronto has helped sway people on the fence about allowing the sport in its province. Still, having its fighters come out and answer questions about its sport help educate those skeptical about it is a good piece to the road to opening MMA to all of Canada.

*Apologies to Canadians as I originally mistook Ottawa as a province and not the capital of Canada. I have corrected the report.

2 Responses to “UFC lobbies in Ottawa to open provinces to MMA”

  1. Mitch Thompson on September 30th, 2011 11:35 AM

    Jason – just a heads up, Ottawa is not a province. It is Canada’s capital… they are advocating for changes to federal (nationwide) laws.

  2. Jason Cruz on September 30th, 2011 9:13 PM

    Mitch –

    Thanks, I’ve corrected the report.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.