Vernon to hold first MMA fighting competition in a decade - InfoNews

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Vernon to hold first MMA fighting competition in a decade

Raja Kler's athletes were competing outside of Vernon due to an MMA ban. They no longer have to do that.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Raja Kler
July 11, 2019 - 1:00 PM

VERNON - The octagon is coming back to Vernon.

For the first time in a decade, the city will host a mixed martial arts competition seeing around 20 fighters battle it out in the octagon at XFC 11 Unbanned, Aug 24.

Unity MMA and Kickboxing gym owner Raja Kler is one of the organizers behind Extreme Fighting Challenge, XFC 11 Unbanned and said the competition will feature some of the best amateur fighters from across Western Canada.

Headlining the event is Vernon's Kenny Pope who will compete for the XFC welterweight championship.

Kler said the XFC 11 Unbanned will feature both male and female fighters competing in a dozen or more different weight categories.

The event is the first to take place since Vernon council rescinded a bylaw earlier this year which prohibited mixed martial arts events being held in the city.

Kler said attitudes towards mixed martial arts fighting have changed over the years.

"I think 10 years ago or a little longer ago, people might have had a bad stigma that went with it, (that) everybody was a hooligan or something," Kler said. "Now it's so legitimate... (it's) probably the most heavily regulated sport in Canada."

The sport is now governed by the B.C. Athletic Commission.

Kler said he's hoping for a good turnout at the Vernon Curling Club and expects around 800 to 1,000 participants to come out and watch the action.

XFC 11 Unbanned, takes place at the Vernon Curling Club, Aug. 24. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information and tickets go here.

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