Amateur MMA must be regulated, UFC's Ratner says

In the UFC, fighters were required to undergo proper medical examinations in order to be cleared...

In the UFC, fighters were required to undergo proper medical examinations in order to be cleared for competition. But in places that don't regulate amateur bouts, all that is required is for a person to step on a scale. (Martin Chevalier/QMI Agency)

NEIL SPRINGER, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:22 PM ET

At UFC 129 in 2011, more than 55,000 rabid fans packed Toronto's Rogers Centre to witness Georges St. Pierre defend his welterweight championship against Jake Shields.

Leading up to the historic event, fighters were required to undergo proper medical examinations in order to be cleared for competition. A number of fighters were also randomly selected for drug testing -- both for performance enhancers and substances of abuse.

Last Friday, Ontario resident Felix Pablo Elochukwu, 35, died following an unregulated amateur fight at AFC Unleash the Beast in Port Huron, Mich. Since that state doesn't regulate amateur bouts, all that was required of the Nigerian-born fighter beforehand was to step on a scale.

Such is the unfortunate dichotomy of mixed martial arts.

On the big stage, it's a well-oiled machine that provides thrilling fights under the watchful eye of government regulation. But in small venues in certain pockets of the world, it's an unregulated mess.


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