Video: Why isn’t MMA legal in Ontario? Ken Hayashi is the answer
Ontario Athletic Commissioner Ken Hayashi is the Darth Vader of mixed martial arts. He refuses to take the necessary steps to allow the sport to be sanctioned in this province. He hides behind Section 83 of the Criminal Code of Canada like it’s his momma’s apron strings.
I’ve spoken with him a few times, asked him point blank what the deal was with his refusing to accept MMA as anything other than a barbaric bloodsport. He’s always hit back by saying his hands are tied by Section 83. Never mind that other provinces, like Quebec and British Columbia, don’t see this law as a hindrance to the sport.
He says that if you’re holding MMA events in Canada you’re breaking the law, no two ways about it. In his eyes, the governments of Quebec and BC are both breaking the law.
I don’t believe Hayashi has a law degree. He’s got a black belt in karate and a history of failed dojos and an axe to grind, it seems. But no law degree.
Talk about a barbaric view of things. Hayashi’s thinking is positively neanderthalic and out-of-step with the times. He’s a government drone who wants to ride out the last handful of years until retirement in peace and quiet. He doesn’t want to sanction MMA because it would mean he’d have to get off his ass and work for a living.
It would mean he might have to hire a few more people to help regulate the sport when the UFC came to town, when the WEC and Strikeforce came to town, when all the local promotions, like Warrior One, put on cards. It would mean more people needed to count the revenue these events bring in – from ticket sales, from sales of merchandise and meals and hotels, and from licensing fees that go back to help fund the Athletic Commission.
But Hayashi doesn’t want any of that. Doesn’t see the upside. Where’s the benefit of him working a little bit harder to give millions of people what they want? What’s in it for him besides headaches and longer hours? He’s taken a stance and the wobblier it gets the straighter he stands, arms crossed in defiance. You will not have mixed martial arts in Ontario.
Time to give this guy a gold watch, a pat on the back and a boot in the ass on his way out the door. Time to find somebody reasonable to deal with, somebody who, if they aren’t sympathetic to MMA at least they recognize it as a sport and understand the benefits of allowing it to exist and flourish in this province.