Vernon council curious about bringing MMA to town - InfoNews

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Vernon council curious about bringing MMA to town

Vernon City Hall
March 11, 2019 - 5:02 PM

VERNON - Vernon city council will be going a few rounds with the idea of bringing mixed martial arts events to the city over the next few weeks. Such events are currently banned in Vernon.

At the regular meeting today, March 11, Vernon council saw a motion recommending they uphold a bylaw banning amateur and professional mixed martial arts events from being held in the city. The bylaw originally passed in 2014. Instead of voting yes, several councillors flipped the script and said the sport should be allowed in Vernon.

Coun. Akbal Mund acknowledged past concerns about the sport, particularly its perceived association with gang culture, but he said mixed martial arts has evolved a lot over the years and deserves a second look.

Coun. Kelly Fehr questioned the rationale behind upholding the mixed martial arts events ban. He put forth a new motion to allow mixed martial arts in Vernon.

"I don't see why we wouldn't let a sport exist in our city," Fehr said.

Before council could vote, Coun. Brian Quiring pumped the brakes, saying it would be worthwhile to speak with RCMP about their stance on mixed martial arts in the city, and council agreed.

Council voted down the original motion and Fehr's motion. They asked administration to speak with the RCMP and stakeholders in the mixed martial arts world (particularly competitors and gyms) about the feasibility of bringing the sport to the city. Fehr said mixed martial arts events have been successful in other B.C. cities.

"There's no reason Vernon should be excluded," he said.

City administration said it will probably not have a report ready in time for the next regular council meeting.

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