City of North Vancouver councillors put the kibosh on hosting professional boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) fights in the city, after voting to disband the North Vancouver Athletic Commission Monday night.
"I've watched enough of it (Ultimate Fighting Championship) channel surfing to know that I find it repugnant ... barbaric," said Coun. Pam Bookham in an interview with The Outlook.
Jake Rossen comments:
Your tax dollars in action -- lawmakers basing decisions on information gathered while "channel surfing." Maybe Bookham can help manage the police force when she settles in for the next "Cops" marathon.
While this is all beyond attempting to challenge with common sense, it's indicative of the uphill battle MMA continues to face. It's 2010 and not only are individual provinces shuttering the gates, but major venues like New York are turning a blind eye. While lobbying and education are easy retorts, it's not of much value in the face of indignant policyholders who can't imagine MMA as a sport for sport's sake. There's still one long, unpaved road ahead.
You start to understand the power gap between the political machine of Vancouver city and their athletic commission when cutting the AC's funding means striking a 2000 dollar line item out of a budget list. Where's mayor Gregor Robertson, the guy Dana White was fellating as the champion of MMA, now? The UFC's event there was last month - LAST FREAKING MONTH! And now the city has spazzed so hard you'd think Chuck Liddell gangbanged half the young women in the area. Knowing him, it's always possible, but still. Isn't it great to see the UFC staying involved in all this after rolling through town?
Jesse Holland piles on:
The UFC recently opened a corporate office in Canada with the intention of spreading the gospel to unregulated areas like Toronto. And while fan support is at an all-time high, especially with Canadian stars like Georges St. Pierre going mainstream, politicians are not impressed.
This step backwards is a very ominous sign for the UFC in Canada and North America generally. A year ago it looked like New York and Ontario would be sanctioning MMA by now. Instead we're looking at Vancouver rolling back sanctioning and zero headway in the two big unsanctioned regions of North America left.
I'm afraid that the UFC will see a similar backlash when they return to Germany. Jonathan Snowden first raised the alarm about the disconnect between the UFC's aggressive in-your-face approach and the burgeoning reaction in Germany.
UPDATE [from Luke Thomas]: reader Emma May says it's a case of mistaken identity:
The story Rossen is screwing up with an inaccurate headline is about North Vancouver. I suggest you read the full story to know what is happening in North Van.
As far as Vancouver is concerned, the Vancouver Athletic Commissioner was replaced earlier this month. There is an article about that on the Vancouver Sun website in the MMA section.
Seriously, if you want to know about what’s going on with BC MMA I wouldn’t pay much attention to what American media outlets report.