THUNDER BAY – “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.” That is the word from the Minister of Consumer Services in Ontario.
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:
Testing competitors for performance enhancing and illegal drugs, where it is required in the contract between the promoter and the competitors.
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.