Surrey council has decided not to ban professional Mixed Martial Arts events in this city.
A bylaw on the matter was up for a vote on Monday, April 16. According to a report by Rob Costanzo, general manager of corporate services, the city in August 2019 received a request to host a MMA fight here, the first since 2013.
He noted the city’s “long-standing position on this issue is that Surrey does not support hosting professional MMA events that are regulated by the Office of the BC Athletic Commissioner.”
But Councillors Mandeep Nagra, Jack Hundial, Brenda Locke, Linda Annis and Doug Elford defeated the proposed ban.
“First of all, I think each application should be assessed on its own merits,” Hundial said, “provided it has the proper safety protocols that have been established now, and certainly other jurisdictions do permit MMA fighting in a controlled environment.”
He said some young people “that are not able to respond to other forms or with other forms of physical activity do tend to gravitate towards this, and it can be controlled in a measured way to prevent injuries.”
Councillor Nagra also thinks each application should be looked at individually. He noted MMA is now overseen by the BC Athletic Commission, “and I truly believe they’re doing their best part to oversee this sport as all the other sports in our community.”