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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bring the UFC to Ontario

PC leader Tim Hudak is urging Premier McGuinty to lift the ban on Mixed Martial Arts in Ontario. This is the best proposal I've heard in a long time. The argument that Mr. Hudak used was that it would boost tourism dollars, which it might. But a more important argument is that it will allow people a little more freedom in their personal choices.

Mr. McGuinty seems unhostile but uninterested, claiming that it wasn't a priority. Really? You don't have time to get this done? How long could it possibly take? You are assured the support of not only your own caucus but the Progressive Conservative caucus. Which means that 88.7% of theMPPs would pass this on the nod. What on Earth could be the possible hold up?

I think Mr. Hudak has an explanation:

Hudak said McGuinty seems more interested in banning things — like candy in schools and pit bulls — than he is concerned with bringing tourism dollars to Toronto and Ontario.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on February 18, 2010 | Permalink


I see nothing wrong in discouraging eating candy in schools and banning pitbulls . I don`t care for some lout to be walking down the street with a high strung animal , ready to tear at a kids` face . It just doesn`t make sense . And as a 20 year kenpo man , I don`t get a kick out of watching someone get punched in the head while lying flat on his back . That`s entertainment?

Posted by: daveh | 2010-02-18 7:50:51 AM

Well it would be a step up from the Tronna Unable Laughs. Less absurd than their playoff chances, and easily more entertaining.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-02-18 8:40:48 AM

Hugh, I had not idea it was not "allowed" in Ontario. I went to an MMA fight in Alberta once and thought the fans were scarier than the fighters. But to ban it is scarier still. Those who don't like to watch it, for any reason whatsoever, are free to not watch it.

Posted by: TM | 2010-02-18 9:15:54 AM

There's a slight difference between banning an event, and not sanctioning an event. Sanctioning is usually done by an indepenant commission. Wisely, many athletic commissions want no part of this sport.

I agree with daveh. A mentally stable person should not be entertained by watching someone be punched, kicked, and choked, after he's already unconscious. I've been involved in boxing for 30 years, and I'm not squeamish, when it comes to combat sports, but what these guys do to each other would land you in prison, if you tried it on the street. Beating a man, who's already beaten, is aggrevated assault. Kids don't need to see this behaviour. We're going to see more and more deaths, because of young people wanting to mimic the actions of their MMA heroes.

Posted by: dp | 2010-02-18 10:15:40 AM

dp, I have never seen an mma fight where someone was punched, kicked, or choked after they were unconcious. Fights are stopped aster in mma than boxing. The head takes more abuse in boxing than mma.

More and more deaths? How many deaths have we seen so far?

Posted by: TM | 2010-02-18 11:25:50 AM

Regarding junk food, parents can do a pretty good job of limiting this without it becoming contraband. Schools can focus on other things. Like educating kids for example.

Posted by: TM | 2010-02-18 12:25:48 PM

dp, more people die from boxing matches than MMA fights. Plus a lot, if not most, matches end in a tap out. How can someone tap out if they are unconcious?

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2010-02-18 3:26:19 PM

Hugh, I agree with that. And getting hit in the head, even if you are getting cut, when you are on your back on the ground is not as bad as when you are standing. The reason is that your brain is not sloshed around inside your skull as much.

Regardless, anyone who does not enjoy watching it is welcome to not watch it.

Posted by: TM | 2010-02-18 3:37:05 PM

The MMA you guys are talking about is UFC. There were a couple of rule changes that got the UFC on TV. Most other MMA events(international) allow stomping an opponent's head, while he's lying on his back.

UFC allows spinning back-fists, elbows to the face of a prone opponents, arm breaking, choking to the point of unconsciousness, intentional cutting, kicking in the spine, leg breaking, and so on. I've seen plenty of guys taking shot after shot, on the ground, and the ref not realizing he's unconscious. In boxing, it's fairly easy to tell when someone is in trouble.

You're right about boxing being brutal, but when kids try to mimic boxers, they rarely hurt each other. They throw a few wild shots, until someone quits, or drops. Jumping on top of him, and throwing a dozen shots to his face is not something they learn watching boxing. The only deaths you hear about are the professionals, themselves, and that's a decision they made, on their own.

There are fewer deaths in MMA, because boxers outnumber MMA fighters, by a huge margin. The guys who make it to the upper levels are so tough, it would take a lot to kill one of them. Not so for the fans. If a kid throws a spinning back-fist on one of his buddies, it could be lethal.

I'm not only against MMA, I'm not a fan of Muay Thai either. I trained a Muay Thai fighter, last year. He wanted to improve his hand skills. He asked me to work his corner, in his first full Muay Thai event, and I agreed. He did a good job, but took 3 clean Thai kicks to the side of his head(no headgear). If you think boxing has a lot of injuries, you should see the statistics on Thai fighting.

I watch MMA quite often, as do my sons. We've all done our share of boxing, and we all know this type of fighting is wrong. It's like a car wreck, it's hard not to look. If you guys enjoy it, and want it in your neighbourhood, that's fine with me. I'm just giving you a couple of counter points, that are probably being considered by the powers that be.

Posted by: dp | 2010-02-18 4:17:33 PM

dp, interesting. I obviously don't follow the sport much. It is brutal, but do the fighters not sign waivers? They should know the risks.

Posted by: TM | 2010-02-18 5:07:31 PM

And to get to the main point , as conservative as I am , I would consider Mr Hudak to be a ' limouisine Conservative '. I think some of these stances he takes are , strictly for the cameras. I mean how conservative can you be , when both your parents are school teachers.

Posted by: daveh | 2010-02-18 7:40:00 PM

dp is right we need to ban anything we don't want children to mimic. Everything on TV for instance.


I'm kidding.

Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2010-02-18 7:55:33 PM

We keep pushing the boundaries as to what we call entertainment. How far away are we from the gladiator sports the ancient Romans viewed as entertainment ?? It would be popular with the same crowd that sees the Jerry Springer show as entertainment. The moral compass will always swing towards the big money. Can you imagine the TV ratings in the first live gladiator games ??
20 years ago MMA would not have been tolerated as entertainment.
Imagine what the next 20 years will bring if we keep pushing the boundaries.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-02-18 9:38:30 PM

peterj, that may be true. But who decides where those boundaries are and whether they should or can be enforced? I for one don't trust government fairies to sprinkle pixy dust on a problem in the hope all will be better. Maybe mma fights are disgusting to some. But I find it hard to imagine how an entity that can only get its way because they have a monopoly on the use of force, and as a result use plunder to gain and keep power, can be trusted to solve this "problem."

Posted by: TM | 2010-02-18 9:58:05 PM

the use of force, and as a result use plunder to gain and keep power, can be trusted to solve this "problem."

Posted by: TM | 2010-02-18 9:58:05 PM

I am not saying I am for or against MMA. I have watched a couple matches and all that did was make me question where we draw the line on what we consider entertainment. We are not at that line yet. Government only reacts to public pressure or activists.
I only wondered where we go from here ??. Where is the line ??.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-02-18 10:21:32 PM

I don't now, nor have I ever, understood why something that is totally unacceptable in any other place is acceptable if you put it in a ring, cage or hockey arena and call it "sport." What's even more scary is the slathering fans screaming for blood. Maybe if we gave these "athletes" swords or knives, it would be even more fun for the fans.

Posted by: W. Campbell | 2010-02-18 11:31:39 PM

I don't now, nor have I ever, understood why something that is totally unacceptable in any other place is acceptable if you put it in a ring, cage or hockey arena and call it "sport." What's even more scary is the slathering fans screaming for blood. Maybe if we gave these "athletes" swords or knives, it would be even more fun for the fans.

Posted by: W. Campbell | 2010-02-18 11:31:39 PM

Don't give them any ideas! Seriously though, you are applying your sense of morality to this and believing or hoping everyone else would agree with you. I am like that too, but when it comes right down to it we can't MAKE them. And that is the key here. Should anyone be able to make you not watch a hockey or lacross game because they think it too violent? Or maybe we should say that the womens beach volleyball uniforms are too skimpy so we should bann the sport.

The government has a poor track record legislating morality. Trusting them with it is to our detriment.

Posted by: TM | 2010-02-18 11:53:32 PM


The difference is consent and a presumed awareness of the risks involved. Anyone who plays hockey at a certain level knows they will eventually get hurt. It is part of the game. So it becomes acceptable.


I think you underestimate the sense of children. I remember play fighting when I was 6, I also remember fighting when I was 6. Even at that age I knew the difference between horsing around and someone trying to hurt me. Kids may horse around pretending to be UFC fighters but most kids would know intuitively how far to go.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2010-02-19 2:09:04 AM

Hugh, I didn't mean to sound like that. I agree totally with you that kids have sense. Even if they didn't though, it is worse to have the state legislate morality.

Posted by: TM | 2010-02-19 9:22:30 AM

What's next, Ontario, gladiatorial matches? Jousting? Death race? That Star Trek episode where Kirk, Uhura and Chekov are kidnapped and forced to fight to that unforgettable fight music?

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-02-19 11:12:44 AM

Mr. Hudak seems to have a habit of miscalculating the support he can drum up, with a particular issue. When he paraded his pitbull, looking for an issue to gain votes with, it backfired, badly. This issue may have the same result. People are starting to look at him, with serious reservations.

Though I'm not a real fan of MMA, I don't support an outright ban. I know how messed up a lot of young men are, and if it isn't UFC, they'll be watching Faces of Death, or hockey fights, or some other sick production. It's simply the natural progression of an out of control culture. At least MMA still has some sort of rules, and bdys.

What I don't like about MMA, is the use of elbows, on a guy lying on his back. That rule needs to be changed. The same with hitting on the top of the head. It could result in a fractured skull, or a compressed disc.

The blood isn't a big deal. I see plenty of that in boxing. One of my boys got a nasty nosebleed in a match, back in November. Every time he blew a big breath, a red mist went up in front of the ring lights. I could hear the crowd gasping, and his parents were watching from the front row. When he won the match, he ran over and hugged me, leaving me a bloody mess, as well. Once you realize, it's only a nosebleed, you sort of blank it out.

Posted by: dp | 2010-02-19 1:24:22 PM

Wow. I just watched a "Pride Fighting" match on Spike TV. Most of the same faces you see on UFC. Vanderlei Silva beat a Japanese guy, by stomping on his face about 8 times. He was coming down with all his weight, and the referee couldn't get near him. When they got him stopped, his opponent was in bad shape. Great stuff. I wish my kids would get into that sport.

You'd get 2 years in prison for that move, if you did it on the street.

Posted by: dp | 2010-02-19 8:52:04 PM

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