Vernon City Council is taking a punch out of MMA fighting and proposing a potential ban of the sports events throughout the city.
Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky said council directed staff to propose the bylaw after a closed door meeting with RCMP.
“It came out of the information RCMP gave us regarding the relationship between the business of MMA professional events and organized crime and that is the primary impetus of this,” explained Sawatzky.
Sawatsky says that although he cannot explain in detail the RCMP evidence, it was enough to convince council a ban is necessary because of the long and well known historical ties between MMA events and organized crime.
“We have directed city staff to provide a report to council about the possibility of bringing forward a bylaw which ban MMA events within our jurisdiction,” said Sawatzky.
The mayor said that when the safety and health of an individual is also at issue, local governments can impose a ban under the Community Charter to prohibit professional and amateur MMA events.
An actual ban of MMA events, if it happens, is still several months away as a bylaw has to be proposed, approved and then brought to the public for input session before being set in stone.