Controversy Strikes London, Ontario

The London Free Press is reporting that the Oneida First Nation Indian reserve held a controversial mixed martial arts event yesterday which has become a major topic in the local news.

The Ontario Provincial Police are currently in a situation where they are trying to decide whether or not they should investigate the controversial event. The OPP is unsure if the unsanctioned event falls under a grey spot in the Canadian judicial system. OPP Constable Doug Graham said “We will conduct an investigation and determine whether this event fits the definition of a prize fight and whether it would be in the public’s interest to prosecute. It’s a strange situation; we’ve never been faced with something like this.”

The event deemed ‘The Fighting Spirit Challenge’ hosted 15 cage fights at the Oneida community centre. According to event organizer Albert Doxtator, the event was sanctioned by the Oneida Athletic Commission. It is being reported that more that 400 people purchased tickets ranging from $40 to $100. Several fighters from London, along with others from North Carolina and Chicago attended the event.

The OPP feels that this is the first time an unsanctioned event has been held on a reserve in Ontario… I beg to differ. MMA is becoming a mainstream sport and it’s about time the Ontario Athletic Commission loosened its grip and began to allow the sport be sanctioned.  With the growth of the UFC it’s only a matter of time and not only is it entertaining but it will provide the commission with some great revenue. Doxtator ended the article by saying “For indigenous people in indigenous communities of sovereign nations, it gives them the opportunity to view this. This is just the first of many.”

In an interesting twist we were given an “About MMA Fighting” blurb at the end of the article. In a poor attempt, the writer listed the following things (word for word):

- A relatively new sport, mixed martial arts fighting has become a multi-million dollar business.

- Legal in Quebec, the sport is not sanctioned in Ontario even though there are fighters from the province.

- Last night’s cage fighting at Oneida - fighters go at it in an eight-side cage - is similar to the MMA fighting style.

- Early versions of MMA were wilder than now, the fighters governed by few rules, which may explain the ongoing resistance to it.

- Fans and fighters argue MMA combines otherwise legal fighting styles.


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