THUNDER BAY – One can’t really picture Dalton McGuinty ringside at a boxing match, or at an ultimate fighting event. While the Ultimate Fighting Championship is seeking to hold events in Ontario, they have run into the “Politician Dad” of Ontario, and perhaps Canada Dalton McGuinty.
The Premier has dodged and evaded the issue like a fighter. However McGuinty won’t engage the issue he is simply trying to suggest that Ontario has other more important issues to deal with. The Premier does not explain why he would even be addressing the issue, or apparently not interested in seeing Mixed Martial Arts in Ontario.
UFC President Dana White is hoping to bring his sport to Ontario, but currently can not.
The UFC states that “Mixed martial arts (MMA) is an intense and evolving combat sport in which competitors use interdisciplinary forms of fighting that include jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and others to their strategic and tactical advantage in a supervised match. Scoring for mixed martial arts events in Nevada, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Florida is based on athletic-commission approved definitions and rules for striking (blows with the hands, feet, knees or elbows) and grappling (submission, choke holds, throws or takedowns). No single discipline reigns”.
THE UFC is welcome next door in Quebec, but not in Ontario. The result in Ontario is that our province ends up with people travelling out of the province to view the sport.
Does it matter? Perhaps it does as yet another example of how in Ontario the McGuinty Government seems determined to make decisions for Ontarians. Should the Premier be deciding what you can do, or is that a decision best left up to mature adults?
The other reason that it matters is that the decision means Ontario loses tourism dollars.
Respectfully, MMA fighting likely isn’t everyone’s proverbial cup of tea. That however isn’t the issue. There is a huge difference between a decision of you, or Premier McGuinty, or me on what we like, or don’t like. Inversely, just because I like, or don’t like something does not give me the right to decide that you must like, or dislike it too.
For “Premier Dad”, the message should be simple, if you personally don’t like UFC or other sports, don’t go, and don’t watch it. But don’t force your personal likes and dislikes on the rest of us.
When MMA is on almost every sports channel several times a week, it isn’t as if banning the sport in Ontario is making any kind of a difference, all it is doing is costing Ontario lost opportunities and tourists.
The goal in Ontario according to the Premier is his new “Open Ontario” plan. One could surmise however that when it comes to the UFC and Mixed Martial Arts, “Premier Dad” is deciding for all Ontario that his view is good enough for all of us.
My view is that the marketplace should make the decision. Ontario residents should not have to leave our province to see a live event.
What do you think?