Victoria cage ban lifted; time for Australian MMA to “reboot”

Earlier this year the Australian state of Victoria lifted the ban on fenced safety enclosures for Mixed Martial Arts competition in a celebrated development that allows MMA bouts to be conducted in a safe environment.

Sports Minister John Ehren of the Australian Labor Party announced that the new government had accepted the added safety that a caged area brings, as opposed to a boxing ring where competitors can fall through the ropes.

In return, the Victorian city of Melbourne will be treated to UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm, on November 15 when the UFC will stage one of its biggest events to date as the promotion attempts to break its all-time attendance record at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.

In a recent IMMAF article, Joe Minehan, President of International Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Australia (MMAFA), expressed his pride and commented on the announcement of UFC 193. Click HERE for more information

In addition, the IMMAFA President provided an update on the development of Amateur competition in Victoria, now that the cage ban has been scrapped. With the Amateur scene now enabled to progress safely, Minehan described how education about the enclosure’s benefits resulted in no noticeable backlash from sceptics.

Minehan explained, “It was a relief to the MMA community that the Victorian Government lifted the ban on the safety enclosure. It was argued successfully that the Octagon made the competition safer for competitors, officials and spectators. The reaction has been positive within the MMA community and neutral from those outside MMA.”

However, work is not yet complete in attaining consistency throughout Australia.

He continued, “This only leaves the state of Western Australia to convert. We will be able to present most of the same arguments and data to put to the W.A. government. This would bring them into line with the rest of Australia and we will finally have a consistent ruling throughout Australia.”

Interestingly, Minehan revealed how the much welcomed news has resulted in an initial stalling of competition in the region. With the ban now lifted, organizers have turned their attention to sourcing and providing athletes with the now legal safety enclosure.

The IMMAFA are providing assistance to “reboot” local events as the national body moves towards Australia’s National Championships.

“The lifting of the cage ban appears to have stalled amateur events in Melbourne as clubs work to source octagons for regular amateur events. I have meetings in Melbourne in the coming weeks to assist in rebooting events in preparation of our National championships.”

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