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McGuinty has 'open mind' on hosting UFC matches in Ontario

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The Canadian Press
12/22/2009 10:32:36 PM
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TORONTO -- Premier Dalton McGuinty is considering allowing the staging of Ultimate Fighting Championship matches in the province.

"I've got an open mind to those kinds of things," McGuinty told CTV Toronto earlier this week when asked if he's opposed to the martial arts events being staged here.

"I'd want to hear from people who train kids in the martial arts, how popular is it among the younger age group and all those kinds of things. It's not the kind of thing I'd want to drive underground. In other words, I'd want to bring a thoughtful approach to it."

McGuinty said he would also want to consult with police and medical officials, adding the issue is not a priority for him.

Ultimate fighting has become one of the world's fastest-growing spectator sports.

It is a mixed martial arts competition, combining elements of fighting sports such as boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, karate and jiu-jitsu.

The UFC recently won a victory when Vancouver's city council voted to legalize mixed martial arts competitions. It has also been recently legalized in Massachusetts.

The Ontario Athletic Commission has periodically revisited the issue, but it has continually maintained that mixed martial arts violates Section 83 of the Criminal Code, which forbids unsanctioned prizefighting.

The UFC has claimed a UFC event in Toronto could generate $4 million in tax revenue.

UFC (Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
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