Sunday, March 14, 2010
MMA Expo BC Secures Approval for MMA Fights on the Show Floor
VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 14, 2010 – Mixed Martial Arts Expo, Inc.
The Original MMA Expo since 2005 – has obtained approval from the Abbotsford City Council to hold amateur mixed martial arts competitions on the show floor of MMA Expo taking place at the TRADEX Exhibition Centre on April 10-11.
MMA Expo founder and president, Gerald Chopik, and his British Columbia supporters are
obviously pleased to have secured approval for this amateur card. “This is never an easy
process”, said Chopik. “When you mention MMA to government officials there are often so
many negative perceptions on the front-end that it takes time to deliver the necessary
education as to how this sport really is conducted with competitor safety in mind, especially
at the amateur level. And this is where our BC supporters did an outstanding job.”
As an Ontario-based company, MMA Expo relied heavy on BC-based relationships to present
its proposal to Abbotsford City Council.
“The real credit for getting this done goes to The TRADEX Exhibition Centre, who from the
very beginning saw no problem in adding this program to MMA Expo, and to the executives of
the BC Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Association – specifically Paul Lazenby and Bill Mahood –
who had already invested a tremendous amount of time developing a comprehensive set of
rules and guidelines that clearly demonstrated amateur MMA competition is in fact a tightly
controlled sport with fighter safety as its number one priority.”
Chopik also gives much of the Credit to the Abbotsford City Council and a final sign-off from
the Abbotsford Police Department.
“Admittedly they were initially reserved about the concept. But to their credit they kept an
open mind and took the time to meet with BCAMMAA representatives and other local
authorities and concluded that so long as the event was conducted under BCAMMAA rules, we
The irony of an Ontario-based company getting an amateur card approved for MMA Expo in
BC is not lost on Chopik. “We are obviously extremely pleased with Abbotsford’s decision. Allin
it took about five weeks to see this through.”
And the Province of Ontario? According to Chopik, five years plus and counting. “It really is incredible how far behind the times Ontario is on the legalization of MMA despite
all of the lobbying and public opinion. Sadly, this scenario is no different than a number of
other positions held by the province in the past. The best examples would be Ontario’s
decades long and expensive battle with consumers against the right for Sunday shopping, and
an option to have an alcoholic beverage with a meal. Years of protests! Retailers were fined
tens of thousands of dollars! And then one morning the province woke up and said – ‘Hey!
Why not.’ Can you imagine not having those options today? MMA is in the exact same