December 6, 2010
Ontario has paved the way to host regulated professional mixed martial arts (MMA) events in the province.
Beginning January 1, 2011, the province will accept applications from MMA promoters who want to stage professional events in Ontario. A major MMA event in Ontario could attract up to 30,000 fans and generate up to $6 million in local economic activity -- everything from hotel rooms to restaurants and other stores and services.
While the economic benefit is clear, Ontario’s priority is the safety of the competitors. That is why Ontario has approved a number of rules for MMA in the province, including:
The Ontario Athletics Commissioner will work to ensure promoters and competitors have the proper licences and that mandatory health and safety standards are in place before any professional MMA event is held in the province.
“We have heard from fans across the province and it’s clear that MMA is a popular sport Ontarians are following. Now we have the tools in place to help keep competitors safe, while providing an economic boost to communities that want to host professional MMA events”. - John Gerretsen, Minister of Consumer Services
For more information:
Christine Lall, Minister’s Office, 416-325-0238
Stephen Puddister, Communications, 416-326-7279
Ontario announced its intention to proceed with regulating professional mixed martial arts (MMA) in the province on August 14, 2010. The rules and regulations introduced today will be administered by Ontario’s Athletics Commissioner and will come into effect on January 1, 2011.
Like professional boxing and kick boxing, which are currently regulated in Ontario, professional MMA falls under Ontario's Athletics Control Act (the Act), which is administered by the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services.
The Commissioner is responsible for licensing and regulating the safe and lawful conduct under the Act for combat sports, which include boxing, kick-boxing and will include MMA.
Specifically, the Commissioner will ensure no event can take place unless:
These regulations also make provision for testing competitors for performance enhancing and illegal drugs, where it is required in the contract between the promoter and the competitors.
In addition, the Commissioner is responsible for:
Ontario will accept applications beginning January 1, 2011 from mixed martial arts promoters who want to stage professional events in the province.