Professional and amateur MMA can now be legally hosted in Canada so long as appropriate local laws are passed. To this end other Canadian jurisdictions can take a page from British Columbia when it comes to regulating combat sports in the post Bill S-209 world. BC now has the clearest Province wide legal framework for amateur MMA and for professional MMA in all of Canada.
With this framework in place BC has now hosted what is likely the first truly legal professional and amateur Mixed Martial Arts event in Canada. This past weekend Fivestar Fight League 8 was held in Penticton, BC. The card had a full roster of professional and amateur bouts. All of the amateur bouts were run under the watch of BC’s Athletic Commissioner Dave Maedel who has a clear legislative jurisdiction to oversee both pro and amateur MMA. The professional side was overseen by the Penticton Commission with this being the last pro event in BC that was sanctioned by a local commission prior to the Province-wide Commission coming into force.
While a debate can be had as to whether Provinces should regulate amateur MMA via a government created athletic commission or via a Provincial Sports Organization, the one thing BC clearly has gotten right is acting quickly to choose one way or the other. If one model proves better than another changes can always be made. It makes little sense, however, to keep amateur events illegal in the meantime. Congratulations to BC for setting out a clear legal framework for all MMA in the Province.