After a 6-3 vote yesterday, the Vancouver City Council passed a resolution to regulate MMA for a two-year trial period. Though a handful of MMA events were sanctioned by the Vancouver Athletic Commission before 2007, the city council put a halt to the sport that year due to concerns over liability in the event of an injury. Since then, unregulated MMA events have popped up around the British Columbian city, some of which were funded by gang money. Now, Vancouver is giving mixed martial arts another chance. Said city council member Tim Stevenson about his "yes" vote:
Reacting to the news, UFC general counsel Lawrence Epstein told the Vancouver Sun, “We’re very pleased with the result. It’s important for this issue to be considered. Once people understand what this sport’s all about, they generally reach this conclusion.”
Following two successful events at Montreal’s Bell Centre, the UFC has long had an eye on Vancouver, and now plans to hold an event at the 19,000-seat GM Place (home of the Vancouver Canucks) in June 2010. And after that? “Ontario’s an important market for us and we’re hopeful we’ll get some momentum from what’s happening in British Columbia today,” Epstein said.