With Bill 50 expected to become law soon in British Columbia, Professional MMA will benefit from consistent standards Province wide
Once a Provincial Athletic Commissioner is appointed standards will need to be designed that will apply to MMA competitions in BC pursuant to the Commissioner’s obligations under Section 4 of the Athletic Commissioner Act and more specifically pursuant to section 46(2)(m) of the Act. When setting the standard both fighter safety and industry consistency will need to be taken into account. Both of these factors point to the adoption of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.
The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts have been widely utilized over the past decade and have demonstrated good results in protecting fighters. In perhaps the most comprehensive study into this issue, the 2007 Johns Hopkins Study “INCIDENCE OF INJURY IN PROFESSIONAL MIXED MARTIAL ARTS COMPETITIONS” published in the Journal of Sport Science and Medicine concluded that under the Unified Rules “The injury rate in MMA competitions is compatible with other combat sports involving striking.”.
Of note, this study highlighted that the vast majority of injuries were of a resolvable nature (with facial lacerations making up nearly 50% of the reported injuries) and that traumatic brain injury rates were far lower than in regulated professional boxing noting the following “As opposed to professional boxing, MMA competitions have a mechanism that enables the participant to stop the competition at any time. The “tap out” is the second most common means of ending an MMA competition…(which) is thought to help explain a knockout proportion in MMA competitions that is almost half of the reported 11.3% of professional boxing matches in Nevada”
Moving on to consistency, there is certainly no greater accepted standard for MMA contests in North America than the Unified Rules. With the Association of Boxing Commissions unanimously adopting this standard in 2009 BC’s MMA Regulations will have little reason to go outside this standard.
Last but not least, if the purpose of this legislative overhaul is to court the UFC back to British Columbia, giving the UFC the fighting regulations they are most familiar with certainly makes sense.