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Vancouver officials are cockblocking MMA

Even though we dodged a bullet when police announced there was no link between that ugly gay bashing incident in Vancouver and the UFC event a few blocks away the same night, MMA in Vancouver still seems completely borked. First, here’s an article detailing how the city is slow-balling and dead-ending all attempts to hold more MMA shows during the sport’s ‘two year trial period’:

“I’ve given them drawings, details of security plans, we’ve been asking for some time now but we’ve heard nothing,” said Sobral Wednesday. “We can’t do anything until we figure out what the insurance requirements are and the licensing staff tell us they have to ask the city manager and it’s hard to push them because they hold our fate in their hands. If we push too hard, they might just decide to heck with you guys.”

Jang acknowledged that local promoters are being hampered by the slow going of the insurance issues, but said he can’t state that the regulatory process will be finalized before the two-year professional MMA trial period ends.

“I just don’t know when it will be solved,” he said. “Could it be that we don’t have another event before the end of the trial period? It’s possible. I can’t say for sure.”

And now news has come out that Vancouver Athletic Commission head Mirko Mladenovic – who was largely responsible for pushing the UFC event through and also criticized the city for trying to kill it – has been fired by the city council:

Mladenovic said he was known for being outspoken and for fighting for VAC issues. But he said he did nothing wrong and was simply trying to defend the autonomy of the commission. When the city appeared to be inclined to turn down the UFC event, he said he forced the issue by approving it at the next commission meeting.

He said he was aware that staff and others had complained about his conduct, but said that appeared to be an excuse to bounce him from the commission.

“I’ve been on the board for three terms. I am only into this one four months. What has changed? What has changed is they wanted to kill UFC and I approved it,” he said.

City councillors didn’t want to talk about their decision because it took place in secret under a code-of-conduct review. But Ballem said the decision to remove Mladenovic and replace him with Rudberg came as a result of the issues around the UFC event.

It really sounds like Vancouver is devoted to giving MMA a fair shake, huh?