B.C. Liberals regulate MMA in province 0
All hail B.C.'s Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong. Every once in a while this current Liberal government does something positive where it's okay for a supporter like me to take the paper bag off my head and come out of hiding.
Last Thursday, the provincial government passed Bill 50, the Athletic Commissioner Act, through the legislature. So what does that mean? It means that we are on the verge of having professional mixed martial arts (MMA) come back to the Lower Mainland and the rest of the province.
I immediately got on the horn with Ida. To be honest, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. So I asked Minister Chong: "What is this new bill about?"
"After talking to many different athletic commissions throughout the province, we believed that it was time to have a provincial commissioner who could oversee professional fighting like MMA," said Chong.
"A lot of people enjoy watching the UFC and we fully understand how popular the sport is. Some parts of B.C. are allowing professional fights while others are not. We were hearing that one city would have different rules than another city and we felt that with how popular the sport was across the province, the safety of the participants had to be paramount and the rules had to be the same across the board for everyone."
All the current local athletic commissions throughout the province will be disbanded, and there will be one man or woman looking over it all - one provincial watchdog. So when does this bill come into effect?
"This summer we will be putting together our provincial rules and regulations when it comes to professional MMA and other combat sports," said Chong. "We will be talking to other provinces like Ontario, and we will also be speaking with people in the States about some of the pitfalls that we should look out for when putting this all together. We will also be doing our due diligence in looking for a commissioner who fits our criteria. We hope to have all this finalized in the fall."
I heard the words 'due diligence' and I am pinching myself. Chong also said the appointed commissioner does not have to be connected to the party. Anyone with experience can go to the provincial website and apply. Go to MMASucka.com for more details on Bill 50.
For full MMA coverage and the latest news, head to MMASucka.com. You can also follow Trevor on Twitter @TdueckMMA.