Regulating Professional Mixed Martial Arts
Ontario announced its intention to proceed with regulating professional mixed martial arts (MMA) in the province on August 14, 2010. The rules and regulations introduced today will be administered by Ontario's Athletics Commissioner and will come into effect on January 1, 2011.
Like professional boxing and kick boxing, which are currently regulated in Ontario, professional MMA falls under Ontario's Athletics Control Act (the Act), which is administered by the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services.
The Commissioner is responsible for licensing and regulating the safe and lawful conduct under the Act for combat sports, which include boxing, kick-boxing and will include MMA.
Specifically, the Commissioner will ensure no event can take place unless:
- promoters and competitors have the proper licences;
- promoters pay the necessary fees and obtain the proper liability insurance;
- medical personnel and MMA officials are appointed;
- all medical requirements (i.e., blood tests, physicals and eye exams) are met; and
- competitors are in good standing.
These regulations also make provision for testing competitors for performance enhancing and illegal drugs, where it is required in the contract between the promoter and the competitors.
In addition, the Commissioner is responsible for:
- conducting weigh-ins and overseeing pre-fight activities; and
- attending and overseeing each event to make sure promoters and participants comply with Ontario's rules and regulations.
Ontario will accept applications beginning January 1, 2011 from mixed martial arts promoters who want to stage professional events in the province.