REGINA -- Despite wild rumours and the possibility of police making a visit to the arena, Mike Maurer is still scheduled to step inside a steel cage in his hometown tonight for his second mixed-martial arts fight.
The Edmonton Eskimo fullback is set to battle Chris Harker in the Regina Blue Auditorium, even though some people in the Western Canadian fight community suggest the show will be shut down because it violates the Criminal Code.
"I think (the card) is totally legal," said Maurer. "This is my gym (Regina Brazilian Jiu-Jit-Su club) that's putting it on and it's going to help our gym (financially)."
At issue with the first-ever MMA card in Regina is whether it's properly sanctioned.
If it isn't, the card is illegal under the Criminal Code and can be shut down by police.
"Basically, all fighting in Canada is illegal unless it's done under a noted commission or provincial commission," said Dale Kliparchuk of the Edmonton boxing and wrestling commission, explaining Section 83 of the Criminal Code. Regina doesn't have a Boxing and Wrestling Commission.
Jeff Wiley - one of the two partners behind C/W Promotions, which is presenting the card - is anything but pleased with the bubbling controversy.
"I spoke with (Regina police) Chief Cal Johnston and he told me that if we're sanctioned or belong under a provincial body and they recognize our governing rules ... the police can't come in and stop us.
"So, once we got affiliated with Saskatchewan Combative Arts Association last month, we are fully sanctioned."
Wiley still expects the police to arrive in the arena tonight looking for legal proof.
He's hoping a letter from the SCA will suffice.
Although his opponent is a raw rookie, Maurer expects a tougher battle after easily beating Darren Apels in his debut last month.
"I anticipate this guy will be a lot more skilled," said the Most Outstanding Canadian from last fall's Grey Cup.
Maurer won't receive a dime for the scrap, even though he's risking injury just seven weeks before Eskimo training camp. "It's all about the experience," he stated.
Wiley also said he's insured for the fight and will have a medical team in the arena.