While the UFC hasn’t been able to get through the gridlock that is New York politics, their efforts to sort things out in Canada has gone much smoother. It seems like only yesterday that events in Ontario were a total pipe dream. Now it’s teeming with MMA events and the UFC is going after the federal law that many provinces have used to keep MMA out:
Current federal law says anyone who engages in or aids, abets, umpires or reports on a prize fight “is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.”
The only exception to the “prize fight” definition in the law are provincially sanctioned events in which “the contestants wear boxing gloves of not less than one hundred and forty grams each in mass.”
The law effectively dates back to the mid-1800s, say advocates for mixed martial arts, and doesn’t reflect current realities. Some provinces have gone ahead and sanctioned UFC events, others have not.
Judging from Thursday’s reception, there appears to be all-party support for changes to the federal law, so the event was less about lobbying legislators than it was about swinging a skeptical public over to the merits of the latest “sweet science.”
Heritage Minister James Moore served as cheerleader in chief, playing host to a reception that saw a parade of MPs and staff get autographs and have pictures taken with Hominick and bantamweight fighter Yves Jabouin.
It’s a good sign when you don’t even have to drag out GSP to excite all these politicians. They’re starstruck by Mark Hominick and Yves Jabouin!