Saskatchewan creating AC to regulate MMA


In June the Canadian House of Commons passed a bill legalizing mixed martial arts throughout Canada, under the authorization of a provincial athletic commission.

Now Saskatchewan is establishing an AC, making MMA legal in province, and opening the doors for the UFC to hold a show there.

"A provincial athletics commission will help ensure the safety of everyone involved in professional combative sport competitions," Saskatchewan Sport Minister Kevin Doherty said Wednesday.

Tom Wright, director of UFC operations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, says it means athletes won't have to move for their sport. Wright points out that MMA fighter Mitch Clarke is from Saskatchewan, but trains in Edmonton because he couldn't compete professionally in his home province.

Wright also says having legal fights makes it safer for athletes.

"That's the cornerstone of protecting the health and safety of our athletes is to make sure that the sport is properly regulated. Now that an athletic commission is going to be set up in Saskatchewan, that will be the case for all organizations that want to hold a mixed martial arts competition," Wright said in a phone interview from Vancouver.

"Particularly for ourselves, it paves the way for us to be able to bring the UFC to Saskatchewan."

Wright says there is no timeline yet on when that might happen.

Steps are underway to have the commission in Saskatchewan running by next summer.

The commission will be responsible for tracking competitors' fighting history and ensure safety protocols are enforced.

The Saskatchewan Martial Arts Association will sanction and oversee amateur combative sports including mixed martial arts, kickboxing, modified Muay Thai and full-contact karate. The association said in a news release that it will immediately start sanctioning amateur combative sporting events.

"By regulating amateur competitions, we help eliminate unsanctioned fights that put athletes at risk," said association president Tim Oehler.

MMA is currently sanctioned at a provincial level in British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec, while it has been sanctioned on a municipal level within Alberta, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories.

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tags: Legislation   regulation   Saskatchewan   Canada   UFC   Tom Wright   

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Recent Comments »

Kazp306 site profile image  

8/16/13 7:48 AM by Kazp306

Imagine an event at mosaic stadium. If they had a stacked card they could do it.

thetrophybuck site profile image  

8/16/13 5:38 AM by thetrophybuck

Credit union center 16000 seats it would be perfect for a ufc on fuel or fx card it would sell out in minutes guaranteed

Chromium site profile image  

8/15/13 5:33 PM by Chromium

If they get one in Alberta too then the 7 biggest provinces (by population) will have provincial-wide oversight. That would just leave New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edwards Island, and the three territories. I wouldn't worry about the territories (Yukon, NWT, Nunaavuut), as they have a combined population of barely 100,000 people across an incredible amount of area (any municipal regulation there is gravy). New Brunswick is #8 and should be fairly doable. P.E.I. is only 140,000 people but it's so small in area (a bit smaller than Delaware) that what would normally be a municipal commissoin based in Charlottetown could cover the entire island. Newfoundland & Labrador is also probably doable but there are remote places where sanctioning would be impractical, like all of Labrador (6% of the population, 72% of the area). All three place have movements. Any which way, New York State is the only place on the continent where MMA is explicitly illegal, that I can find. I even looked at Central American countries and the Caribbean, and couldn't find anything.

SaskBushido site profile image  

8/15/13 11:51 AM by SaskBushido

Very excited this is finally happening! It will be awesome to get to watch the local fighters compete here instead of having to travel to another province.

moemar site profile image  

8/15/13 11:43 AM by moemar

What the fuck is a Saskatchewan? Big Rig

Elias Cepeda site profile image  

8/15/13 11:23 AM by Elias Cepeda

Fought in Prince Albert last summer. Interesting, good fight town/area

ChaosOverkill site profile image  

8/15/13 11:13 AM by ChaosOverkill

Good progress towards getting an event, Sask deserves the reward for the hardwork that goes on in the prairies

demzor site profile image  

8/15/13 11:09 AM by demzor

Bring a fight to Saskatoon!