Here at Fightlinker, we’ve shat upon the stupid head of the Ontario Athletic Commission’s grand poobah Ken Hayashi numerous times over the years, basically because he’s a big stupid jerkface and his so-called commission is a joke. This week, the Canadian MMA Law Blog (sadly not written by Bob Loblaw) has dug up a couple more examples of the OAC’s dumbness.
In Ontario the Athletics Control Act Regulation which governs the sport of professional MMA does not require mandatory drug testing. Instead, section 17.1 of the Regulation only requires drug tests to be performed by the commission if the contract between the fighter and the promoter “requires the participant to undergo a drug test”.
. . .
If the terms of the leaked Eddie Alvarez contract are uniform for all UFC fighters there is no mandatory drug testing clause. Article VIII of the contract speaks to drug testing and only requires fighters to agree to “submit to any pre-Bout or post-Bout drug test as required by an Athletic Commission”.
So, the Ontario commission can only require a fighter to have a drug test if their contract requires it and the contract only requires a fighter to be drug tested if the Athletic Commission requires it. It seems for UFC events in Ontario there simply is no power to require fighters to be tested for banned substances.
In other words, it’s kinda like when you were a kid and you asked for dad for something and he told you to ask your mom, and then when you asked your mom she told you to ask your dad. Or it would be if you’d had a dad (BURN!). Or if you’d asked your parents if you could pee in a cup and have them examine it for some reason.
Anyways, the UFC often either officially or unofficially handles regulatory stuff when they go places with no or poor government oversight, and have on occasion even suspended fighters they busted themselves (Chris Leben comes to mind). Or maybe they just make examples of certain guys they deem expendable, and maybe big-name guys have their samples shipped to Lyoto Machida for “disposal”. I’m not accusing Zuffa of anything, but those are the kinds of shenanigans that are entirely possible when the promoter gets to regulate themselves. Like when they refused to release the names of TRT users at UFC 152, which was coincidentally headlined by a certain Mr. Belfort, for example. This time there’s no TRT patients on the card that I’m aware of, but you never know what’s going on behind the scenes.
Next, the OAC goes from incompetent to downright silly. Take it away, Law Blog:
While most jurisdictions place some general limitations on the conduct of seconds such as New Jersey who prohibit “Interference from a mixed martial artists seconds” and Nevada who require that “a second may not coach loudly or excessively from the corners during a period of unarmed combat” Ontario goes much further in their limitations outright banning any instructions from seconds.
During a round under Ontario law seconds must “remain seated and silent” and “not give any advice, assistance or encouragement to his or her charge”. If a second breaks any of the restrictions the penalties can even include fighter disqualification!
The Nevada rule is obviously open to interpretation as to what constitutes “loudly or excessively”, as opposed to Ontario’s clear requirement for utter silence, which makes me wonder what the OAC thinks the cornermen are even there for. Regardless, I don’t recall anyone being told to sit down and shut up at the previous Toronto cards (or at any MMA event anywhere, for that matter), so I have to presume that in both locales these are examples of outdated laws that are technically still on the books but universally ignored. And if Costa Philippou could bring Serra and Longo to Toronto for UFC 140 and not set off any decibel sensors, I guess no one will.
The Law Blog goes on to detail the full ruleset regarding cornermen, which among other things, specifies that they must wear clean shirts (sorry, Booger), and also uses the quaint phrase “bell or gong”. Does that mean no airhorns? I must admit, a great big gong would be way cooler than a ghetto-ass airhorn.