According to MMAJunkie.com, mixed martial arts has taken one more step forward in the battle for mainstream acceptance by getting regulated in the Canadian province of Ontario. Ontario has long been a high priority for MMA’s largest promotion, the UFC, due to the number of fighters and fight fans that populate the province. Though Ontario government officials had previously remained cold to the idea of MMA regulation, Ontario Minister of Consumer Services Sophia Aggelonitis recently told Toronto radio station 680News CFTR-AM that there has been a large enough public outcry in support and desire of the sport that legalizing and regulating MMA events only makes sense.
“Our government has been monitoring MMA for some time,” Aggelonitis said. “We know that the sport has evolved and that Ontarians want to see it here. My goal is to make sure we have the tools to keep the competitors safe and provide an economic boost to communities that want to host professional MMA events.”
Aggelonitis added that she, “hopes to see a live event sometime in 2011.”
UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and former Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission Marc Ratner took to Twitter to express his enthusiasm for the newly opened door.
“MMA will have fights in Ontario starting in 2011,” Ratner stated. “We’re excited!”
According to MMAJunkie, 680 News also reported that the UFC has booked the Rogers Centre for an unspecified date in March of 2011.