Ontario Softens Up Their “Cleanly Shaven” MMA Requirement

Earlier this month I analyzed the law of facial hair in MMA pointing out that New Jersey has perhaps the most extreme requirements outright banning any beard and only permitting a “closely cropped mustache. “

Section 81 of the Ontario Athletics Control Act specifically adopts the New Jersey Rules for professional MMA.  I reached out to the Ontario Athletic Commissioner to see if this rule is strictly enforced.   Richard Hustwick, the Senior Advisor, Operational Policy and Stakeholder Relations from the AC’s office, advises that they have softened this complete ban and adopted the following policy more sensibly based on safety concerns:

Office of the Athletics Commissioner (OAC) policy is to require that a fighter have no more than a light beard during competition so that it does not interfere with a doctor’s ability to evaluate a facial injury / cut.  Exceptions may be applied on the basis of the Ontario Human Rights Code to accommodate certain fighters.  This policy will be applied to UFC 165 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on September 21, 2013.

Update September 21, 2013 – Apparently this policy is in full force with Patrick Healey tweeting “The beard has been trimmed by order of the athletic commission” with the following photo as proof:

healey beard trimmed by order of OAC

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