City targeting mixed martial arts bouts

Vernon will draft a bylaw that would prohibit professional and amateur mixed martial arts events

Mixed martial arts competitions could be tossed out of the ring permanently.

City council instructed administration Monday to draft a bylaw that would prohibit professional and amateur mixed martial arts events within municipal limits.

“We just don’t feel it’s a healthy activity for the community to be promoting,” said Coun. Brian Quiring.

Mayor Rob Sawatzky would not get into specific details, but says council’s decision is partially based on in-camera discussions with the local RCMP detachment.

In June 2012, council members refused to consider applications for professional boxing, kick-boxing or mixed martial arts until legislation for a provincial athletic commission proceeded later that year.

At that time, Sawatzky stated, “We have received some confidential information about professional sports that has led to us making that decision.”

In terms of council’s actions Monday, Sawatzky, who is a retired physician, admits that he has other concerns about mixed martial arts.

“MMA is very violent and the goal is to injure your opponent,” he said.

Administration’s draft bylaw potentially banning MMA must still go before council for final consideration.