(Way to let personal opinion get in the way of making an informed decision, North Vancouver.)
City of North Vancouver city council squashed any possibility that the city will sanction mixed martial arts events any time in the near future as it voted to disband the North Vancouver Athletic Commission Monday night, according to the Northshore Outlook.
“I’ve watched enough of it (Ultimate Fighting Championship) channel surfing to know that I find it repugnant … barbaric,” said Coun. Pam Bookham in the interview with The Outlook.
It was evident that the city was unwilling to work with the commission when councillors voted in March against spending $2,000 of the city’s 2010 operating budget to fund the commission’s objectives, in spite of the money MMA events put into their coffers.
The decision to dissolve the group was likely partially due to of all of the bad press that resulted from an assault by two brothers on two gay men following the June UFC event (which it was never proven they had attended) and an altercation that amounted to little more than a heated argument at an amateur MMA show earlier this month.
Here’s what happened in the latest "incident":
A Vancouver-based MMA trainer reportedly stormed the ring to defend his downed fighter who continued to receive blows from his opponent despite a stoppage call from the referee. While the trainer was verbally lashing out at the referee and the fight’s champion, other people also entered the ring and added to the commotion.
“It probably factored into some of the people’s (councillors) decision,” said Coun. Bob Fearnley who moved the motion to dissolve the athletic commission.
Commission chair Michael Pattenaude downplayed the incident for what it was.
“Yeah there was at the very end, a conflict between the two schools, but it’s not like it ever got physical,” said Pattenaude, who says that Monday night’s decision will likely lead to more underground events in the city, which will leave the city with blood on its hands if injury or death occurs at such an event.
“We’ve heard that it happens in North Van … some (fighters) are being paid,” said Pattenaude.
Pattenaude, who said he is considering approaching the District of North Vancouver (where he says a couple councillors support his vision of ?sanctioning MMA) to form another commission, believes council’s decision was made with a lack of understanding of MMA and other combat sports.
“It looks bad when people see a little bit of blood, but most of these injuries are superficial,” said Pattenaude.
Proving Pattenaude’s point, Fearnley admitted that he doesn’t watch “that sort of stuff” but has "read articles" on the subject — likely the ones about the "UFC 115 gay-bashing" or the "amateur MMA event that erupted in post-fight chaos."
“My wife is a nurse and she talks about head trauma and the long-term effects of this type of sport,” said Fearnley.
Should a councillor be taking the opinion of a nurse over reports from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine or that of years of statistics and neurosurgical research?