MMA still not legal in Ontario

With the growth of the UFC and mixed martial arts across North America, and now the world, one key element is missing in the overall battle to get MMA recognized as a sport that is respected and not looked down upon. That is getting legalized in the province of Ontario.

In the past week the UFC has made media promotion stops in Toronto, the biggest city and undoubtedly the first choice for a city if the UFC was ever allowed to host an event in this province. Thousands of people flooded the Eaton Centre to meet UFC president Dana White, as well as UFC fighters Sam Stout and Krystof Soszynski. The amount of support shown in this minor event in Toronto was astonishing. For hours on end people showed up to meet these two fighters, who despite being good fighters, aren't even title holders or that close to it really. That right there says something about the growth and development of the sport, and just how much staying power it really has in Toronto and Ontario.

Could you just imagine the 50,000-plus Rogers Centre being filled with fight fans? The tourism it would create in Toronto in this ever “struggling economy.” In the two UFC events held in Montreal they went on record as the two biggest days for retail sales in the city, and were regarded as some of the biggest successes for UFC events.

The major problem with why there hasn't been an event in Toronto or anywhere else in Ontario yet is it's simply illegal. Section 83 of the criminal code prohibits MMA in any form and its not sanctioned by the Ontario Athletic Commission. It seems like some great hurdles to overcome, but it continues to be the same people who are holding back any amendments to this law. Premier Dalton McGuinty and athletic commissioner Ken Hyashi both have remained against the push to get MMA legalized in the province. Despite the obvious economic impact, the great deal of attention that would be paid to Toronto and the fact that it would be the biggest UFC event in history, they seem to think that MMA being legalized is a non-issue at this point and are pushing it under the carpet.

Of course being a huge fan, I am against what they are doing, it seems arrogant to the sport and to a point they are just uneducated on what MMA is all about.

Until the day that the Ontario government smartens up their act regarding this issue the push will keep coming, and there won't be any quit in these MMA fans. Like the fighters they cheer for the hardcore fans of the sport have no quit in their fight, they truly know what the province is missing out on and how it would be such a benefit to not only the province but to the fans who would have their passions filled for a sport that they love.