Government in Western Australia bans use of cage in MMA

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The success of mixed martial arts worldwide is fueled by the success of the UFC, and UFC president Dana White ties the extraordinary growth of his organization to government regulation. However, sometimes government gets it wrong, as happened recently in Western Australia, where MMA was not banned, but the use of the cage was.

Cages are demonstrably safer than rings, as has been shown countless times. For just one example, it happened at Shine Fights 3 in 2010, twice.

Shannon Gugerty vs Dennis Bermudez (6:00 min mark)

Kyle Baker vs. James Warfield  (11:56 mark)

Anyone wanting to express their view on the matter is encouraged to contact WA Sports Minister Terry Waldron – – with a polite explanation of why banning a cage is bad for the sport.

The West has the story.

The State Government has banned the cage in a move that has Perth’s mixed martial arts community up in arms.

Department of Sport and Recreation commissioners met promoters and gym owners yesterday to inform them of the decision.

Sports Minister Terry Waldron confirmed the use of cages in MMA contests would be prohibited once the regulations were gazetted in early March.

MMA has attracted controversy because of perceptions associated with the cage.

Grady Stewart, from Perth promotion K-Oz Entertainment, said a cage was safer than any alternative.

“The cage is equipment that’s there for the safety of the athletes,” he said. “It stops people falling through to the concrete and breaking their neck.”

Victoria is the only other State with a ban, but the Victorian Government has come under added pressure to lift the ban.

Perth fighter Xavier Lucas, 31, said he believed it was a decision made out of ignorance. “I’d like the politicians to actually take the time to see what the sport is about,” he said.

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