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Public can weigh in on Mixed Martial Arts ban

Coaches Sarah Moras (left) and David Lea (right) teach a kids Mixed Martial Arts lesson at Toshido MMA in Kelowna. Lea has spoken out against allegations the sport is linked to organized crime.
August 20, 2014 - 11:16 AM

VERNON - The public will soon get a chance to provide input on a controversial Mixed Martial Arts bylaw.

The City of Vernon has given first readings to the bylaw, which would ban professional MMA events.

Members of the public can have their say on the bylaw at the start of the Sept. 8 council meeting.

Council’s reasons for the ban are rooted in a closed door meeting with police, in which councillors were told MMA events are linked to organized crime. Council is also concerned about the health and safety of competitors.

MMA proponents spoke out against those points, saying council’s remarks were uninformed and offensive.

Council decided not to include amateur MMA events under the bylaw because it didn't want to limit opportunities for youth and because those activities are already regulated by the B.C. Athletic Commissioner.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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