- New rules focus on making athlete safety paramount
- Fenced safety enclosures will bring WA into line with the rest of Australia
- Lucrative events tourism to diversify the economy and create jobs
- McGowan Government fulfils election commitment to overturn the ban on safety enclosures
The McGowan Government is days away from removing the ban on fenced safety enclosures in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events, paving the way for future UFC events to be staged in Perth.
Fulfilling a key election commitment, the new rules will come into effect within days to increase safety and protection for all MMA athletes.
The changes will bring Western Australia into line with the rest of Australia and other jurisdictions around the world and prevent the growing sport from being driven underground.
The new rules will introduce a staged transition period away from boxing rings to fenced safety enclosures to allow the local grassroots level of the sport to adjust.
The Combat Sports Commission's position is that the fenced enclosure is the safest contest area for MMA bouts.
The changes are part of a broader push by the McGowan Government to diversify the State's economy, with lucrative UFC events having the potential to bring millions of tourism dollars to WA.
Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
"MMA isn't everyone's cup of tea, but we want it to take place in the safest environment possible. The last thing we want to do is drive MMA underground.
"It makes no sense to continue with a ban that is only good for putting athletes at risk.
"MMA is already legal and taking place across Perth at a grassroots level, but athletes and promoters have been left frustrated that they can't use the standard safety equipment for their sport.
"The Combat Sports Commission is at the forefront of safety and regulation of MMA and we will be working closely together to implement these changes.
"We are getting on with the job of diversifying the economy and creating jobs - and we want major tourism events such as the UFC to be a part of that."
Minister's office - 6552 6400