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Saturday, July 11, 2009

UFC is Canada’s fastest growing sport and Georges St-Pierre is our champion tonight

GeorgeStPierre A study by Ipsos released on July 8th of the sports market in Canada found that two in ten Canadian adults (22%) are interested in the UFC, saying they are casual (16%) or avid (6%) fans of the mixed martial arts sport.

While the number of UFC fans is currently behind some mainstream sports, like Major League Baseball (38% of Canadian adults are fans), the UFC is gaining momentum and might soon approach the fan base of other sports such as NBA Basketball (26% of Canadian adults are fans).

Tonight, at UFC 100, welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre defended his title in dominating fashion against Brazilian Thiago Alves. St-Pierre, know to fans as GSP, was born in Saint-Isidore, Quebec and trains out of Montreal.

The controversial sport is still illegal in Ontario.

(Picture: Georges St-Pierre)

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on July 11, 2009 | Permalink


Wow Spectacular performence from George st. Pierre of course What can you expect from a true Champ?? Victory that is!!! :) I love him hands down!!! Couldn't b more happy.;)

Posted by: Delfy V09 | 2009-07-11 11:01:10 PM

What a fight. What a fighter.

Posted by: Fight Fan | 2009-07-11 11:04:08 PM

I affirm that if two guys have a beef and want to settle it, it's not the state's business, sanctioned or not by an athletic commission. In debates here at the WS, though, it seems most of the staff believes that even in a libertarian society there should be a prohibition on violence. You people justify it, weakly, by saying it is a "disturbance of the peace". Rubbish.

So I'm surprised to see you supporting MMA.

In the 1800s in Canadian towns it was traditional to have open air fights on Saturdays. In the Bytown of Jos Montferrand (Big Joe Mufferaw) they would have them down where the Byward market is today. I wish society was still like that.

A prohibition on violence leads to the tyranny of the weak. It also removes accountability. A violent society is a polite society, not an armed one. The lack of civility - civility emcompassing honesty too, remember - is directly attributable to the prohibition of violence.

They teach in university, or at least mine, that the monopoly of violence defines the state. That's not true: think of duels in years past, or societies that are far less strict about violence than we are. Violent crime is disproportionately punished compared to other crimes.

We need far more violence in society, we'd be much better for it. A little runt who knows the state will protect him has little incentive to show respect towards his physical superiors, leading to a perversion of natural justice. That goes for domestic disputes too: a man hitting a woman is none of the state's business, she can get a divorce if it's so bad. I know of two women who've told me they deserved their beatings, anecdotally.

Posted by: We Need More Violence | 2009-07-12 1:22:09 AM

Force should not be the natural order, WNMV.

Libertarians adhere to the non-aggression principle -- non-aggression towards non-aggressors. The principle doesn't exclude self-defence, of course, or consensual combat.

But there are very few, narrowly defined, justifications for the use of force by the state or anyone else.

The state does have a monopoly of the legal use of force -- the initiation of force, to be exact.

It's not clear to me what that has to do with consensual combat.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2009-07-12 1:54:53 AM

"Canada is the Mecca of mixed martial arts right now and I didn't see that one coming," Dana White said.

Prize Fighting is contrary to Section 83 of the Criminal Code, with this exception:

"A boxing contest between amateur sportsmen, where the contestants wear boxing gloves of not less than one hundred and 40 grams each in mass, or any boxing contest held with the permission or under the authority of an athletic board or commission or similar body established by or under the authority of the legislature of a province for the control of sport within the province, shall be deemed not to be a prize fight."

This law was written 100 years ago and the current Ontario Athletics Commissioner, Ken Hayashi consistently argues the illegality of MMA while his other provincial counterparts take a more liberal stance on it.

I expect to see the Rogers Centre as the host of the largest UFC during the next two years. How can they say no to 50,000 paying patrons?

Posted by: Gaberial | 2009-07-12 7:06:55 AM

// that even in a libertarian society there should be a prohibition on violence//

Consentual combat is not violence, thought it may be violent. Government should have nothing to do with regulating sports or live events.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-07-12 7:36:47 AM

Government should have nothing to do with regulating sports or live events.
Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-07-12 7:36:47 AM

So you would have no issues with dog fighting?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-07-12 8:01:11 AM

@ The Stig //So you would have no issues with dog fighting?//

Sure I would.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-07-12 8:48:42 AM

@ The Stig// "So you would have no issues with dog fighting?"

The difference between sanctioned fights and dog fighting is that the participants both agree in a mutual combat. I never came across a dog who had the ability to sign a contract.

Posted by: Doug Gilchrist | 2009-07-12 10:43:50 AM

Why is everyone so anal about dog fighting? There are several breeds of dogs that were specifically bred for it. When one pitbull injures another, it's no big deal.

I watched UFC 100. Other than the GSP fight, it was revolting. Henderson landed, with all his weight, on an obviously unconscious Bisping's face. I'm surprised his jaw and cheekbones weren't crushed. Lesnar needs to be tested for every drug known to man, and possibly for alien DNA.

In my opinion, a crack appeared in the MMA giant last night. They had quite a run, but I saw nothing I haven't seen outside the Noel Road dancehall on Saturday night. Maybe they should put a little broken glass, and vomit inside the cage, just to make it more realistic.

Posted by: dp | 2009-07-12 11:26:27 AM

UFC is illegal in Ontario because members of that prim, freedom-hating, Old Tory culture are scared of anything that ruffles feathers.

They love nanny statist social democracy, because, like Old Toryism it, for it's time, is the most statist philosophy acceptable within liberal democracy.

They're morally disgusting people (when it comes to politics).

Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2009-07-12 7:21:54 PM

I agree dp, that the late hit by Hendo was way out of line. No fighter would defend his action.

The UFC should act like the NFL and fine him for unnecessary contact after the play was over. It was outside the scope of the fight and no fighter has the expectation of being struck while unconscious. Hendo admitted knowing Bisping was helpless, but threw the extra shot to "shut him up."

Posted by: Dennis Young | 2009-07-12 7:42:07 PM

One other thing to keep in mind, MMA would fall under the jurisdiction of a boxing commission. These commissions tend to be run by old school boxing people, who've seen their share of trouble. The UFC probably looks like trouble with a capital T.

It's only a matter of time, until someone gets killed in one of these events. Today's competitors are a very special crew, who've proven their toughness just to get to the big show. With the rapid growth of the sport, you'll see more, and more people getting involved, who don't belong in this level of competition.

Plenty of people die in pro boxing, hockey, and football, but these sports are a part of our everyday lives. A new combat sport would have a really bright spotlight on it, and that's what worries Ontario.

There's also competition for sports fan dollars. When someone pays $100 to see an MMA event, that's $100 he won't spend to watch a hockey game, or boxing match. Athletic commissions tend to look after their own members.

Posted by: dp | 2009-07-12 8:02:19 PM

Dennis- I couldn't hear any of the comments, because of all the noise. If he said he made that hit to shut Bisping up, he more or less confessed to assaulting the guy. Not uncommon in sport, but not a great way to sell your event, either.

Posted by: dp | 2009-07-12 8:25:59 PM

Dennis, I didn't hear that Henderson, "admitted knowing Bisping was helpless, but threw the extra shot to "shut him up." "

However, I didn't think it was anywhere near as bad as you and dp are suggesting. It is the job of the ref to step in when a fighter is out. I've seen times where a fighter thought the fight would be stopped, only to find out it hadn't been. On top of that, it looked possible that Henderson didn't know Bisping was fully out until he landed the shot on the ground. It wasn't obvious until Bisping made no attempt to defend himself. Remember, it can look a lot more clear in slow motion replays than it would for Henderson making a split second decision.

Posted by: William Joseph | 2009-07-13 8:57:20 AM

You're right, William. That incident, on its own, would not be enough to sour most people to the sport. I've seen worse in pro boxing. When Ernie Shavers knocked out Ken Norton, it was probably closer to a fatal beating than the Bisping KO. Norton got stuck in the ropes, and took about 4 clean shots to the head, from the hardest puncher of all time.

For me, it's about the whole dirty aspect of the sport. When I was a youngster, in the maritimes, we had a bit of a code. Some of the things these guys do would get you in bad trouble on the street. Trying to cut your opponent with elbows, trying to choke your opponent into unconsciousness/death, hitting someone on the top of the head, kneeing someone in the spine, kicking him in the knees, breaking his arm, etc.

These things are supposed to simulate real mortal combat, but it doesn't really. There are still rules. In a real fight for survival, there's biting, rock throwing, stabbing, clubbing, eye gouging, nut kicking, and shooting. Is that where this sport is headed? Will weapons be introduced, when fans get bored with the present style?

Posted by: dp | 2009-07-13 9:58:40 AM

I enjoyed the fights. Ya, Dan Henderson should have realized the fight was over, but they train to go until the ref stops them. They both know the risks when they enter the ring. I was sorry to see Mir lose tho, Lesnar is to much WWE for me.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-07-13 11:57:22 AM

UFC is illegal in Ontario because members of that prim, freedom-hating, Old Tory culture are scared of anything that ruffles feathers.
Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2009-07-12 7:21:54 PM

Oh come on now Booby, dwarf tossing is still legal in Ontario. It's much more fun than the UFC, everybody can participate. In truly progressive places, like Alberta, that have high unemployment and an abundance of cattle I suggest you bring back bull baiting. You could put people back to work and tenderize the beef before it went to the slaughterhouse. It could be win win for Alberta.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-07-13 12:34:11 PM

dp said, "In a real fight for survival, there's biting, rock throwing, stabbing, clubbing, eye gouging, nut kicking, and shooting. Is that where this sport is headed? Will weapons be introduced, when fans get bored with the present style?"

I don't get this logic. If those things were allowed, it would be a different sport. Just like how MMA allows more than boxing does, and therefore are different sports. If someone else wants to start up a sport with weapons, then that doesn't elminiate MMA.

Also, MMA actually is moving the exact opposite direction of tightening up the rules for fighter safety. Just look at the first few UFC's to see how the UFC had added a few new rules and procedures (ie. rounds/weight classes/rules). For a more recent example, the promotions that continue to allow head kicks on the ground are shrinking.

Posted by: William Joseph | 2009-07-13 2:00:28 PM

William- Don't misunderstand me, I'm not against MMA. I'm just pointing out some of the objections that will have to be answered.

In my 30+ years of involvement with amateur boxing, I've had to answer some tough questions, mainly from parents. There've been some real low spots in the sport. The focus on safety is probably the number one issue, even though, statistically, soccer is more dangerous than amateur boxing.

Steve- I agree that Lesnar is bad for the sport, but he may be able to open up a bigger fan base. Many die hard wrestling fans could make the jump to real contact fighting. The problem with that, is, those fans expect a flashier show. The whole thing is going to become a circus.

Posted by: dp | 2009-07-13 4:13:06 PM

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