Struggle to legalize MMA in Ontario

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    Post subject: Struggle to legalize MMA in Ontario PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:06 am

    Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:16 am
    Posts: 325
    Location: Texas
    CREDIT TO : [MMA_World-Fighting_Women]

    The following is courtesy of The Excalibur at Toronto’s York

    University. This uphill battle has been going on for years.

    Winning the fight, losing the battle
    Written by Jatinder Dhoot – Contributor
    Wednesday, 12 October 2005

    Fight for mixed martial arts in Ontario has many rounds left

    These days, everyone seems unable to get enough of the sport of
    mixed martial arts. Everyone except the Ontario government, that is.

    New fans of the sport that have been born via The Ultimate Fighter
    reality series on Spike TV may not realize that there has been a
    struggle now for over half a decade to get the sport legalized in
    Ontario. Torontonian and color commentator for the Apex Championship
    Fighting promotion in Quebec, Joe Ferraro, has toiled tirelessly in
    spearheading the movement towards reaching the ultimate objective of
    legalization on an amateur level.

    Ferraro and his team, which includes Terry Riggs, manager of former
    UFC welterweight champion and York University student Carlos Newton,
    as well as mixed martial arts journalist Marco Antico, had high
    expectations for their meeting with Ontario government officials on
    Monday, Sept 26. However, the movement was dealt a crushing blow and
    the large step forward they anticipated turned out to be a few steps
    in the opposite direction.

    “We thought this was going to be step two of a three step process,”
    explains Ferraro. “They told us, `Hey bring this in and we’ll
    discuss the bigger items and stuff that needs to get done.’ So we
    were pretty positive about that, got everything done, walked into
    the meeting, but as we started the presentation things were going
    smooth and then just turned for the worse where, `You don’t have
    this, you don’t have that, so there’s no point in even continuing.'”

    It was an odd situation for Ferraro and his team as they prepared
    what was required of them for the meeting.

    “We were like, `Wait a second, we wanted to be clear before we came
    here, that this was going to be exactly what you asked us to bring
    in and then we would discuss the other items,’ and then they just
    shot us down,” says Ferraro. “They just continued to shoot us down
    and it was the complete opposite of what we expected.”

    Essentially, amateur MMA in Ontario will be required to follow the
    exact model of Amateur Boxing in Ontario – thus requiring athletes
    to be developed, coaches and trainers certified and provincial and
    national championships created, in addition to creating a national
    body consisting of 200 registered members to be reported to.

    Another option is for Ferraro and his team to join with the Canadian
    Jiu-Jitsu Association (CJA) and potentially create a full-contact
    division. Closer inspection at the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Association
    reveals that they do have a sparring division, which shares some
    similarities to what the sport of amateur mixed martial arts would
    look like.

    “We’re going to the CJA to say, `Why don’t we make this a full-
    contact division or just stem it out, we’ll regulate it if you like
    but we’ll provide them with the rules,'” explains Ferraro. “They can
    have control of everything, we just want to have something where
    amateur athletes can compete in.”

    Based on the history between the CJA and some of the “grappling
    community” it may be a tough sell, however, for Ferraro and his
    team. But with proper delivery, things could potentially be worked

    “If approached correctly and explained [then] they should not judge
    us by something that’s happened in the past.”

    “So basically we’ll approach the CJA and say, `Please don’t judge us
    by them. This is what we want to do, this is what we’re trying to
    do: We’d like to regulate, make sure that it’s safe, we want to make
    sure it’s a competition, we want to make sure that there’s a ranking
    system. These are the rules,’ and hopefully, they’ll listen.”

    Ferraro and his team will take that hope now and continue to march
    forward to get the sport legalized. The fight is far from over, the
    battle has just begun.


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