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  • May 3, 2018 7:23 AM +04

    REGINA -- Mixed martial arts events will soon be legal in Saskatchewan, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship says thats good for athletes. Vieirinha Jersey . The government is setting up an athletics commission that will have the authority to sanction professional combative sports, including MMA. "A provincial athletics commission will help ensure the safety of everyone involved in professional combative sport competitions," Saskatchewan Sport Minister Kevin Doherty said Wednesday. The move comes after the House of Commons passed a bill in June legalizing contact sports such as MMA. The legislation makes professional boxing and MMA contests legal in Canada when they have the authorization of a provincial athletics commission. Only boxing was allowed under the old prize-fighting law, leaving combat sports, including taekwondo, karate and MMA in legal limbo. Tom Wright, director of UFC operations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, says it means athletes wont have to move for their sport. Wright points out that MMA fighter Mitch Clarke is from Saskatchewan, but trains in Edmonton because he couldnt compete professionally in his home province. Wright also says having legal fights makes it safer for athletes. "Thats the cornerstone of protecting the health and safety of our athletes is to make sure that the sport is properly regulated. Now that an athletic commission is going to be set up in Saskatchewan, that will be the case for all organizations that want to hold a mixed martial arts competition," Wright said in a phone interview from Vancouver. "Particularly for ourselves, it paves the way for us to be able to bring the UFC to Saskatchewan." Wright says there is no timeline yet on when that might happen. Steps are underway to have the commission in Saskatchewan running by next summer. The commission will be responsible for tracking competitors fighting history and ensure safety protocols are enforced. The Saskatchewan Martial Arts Association will sanction and oversee amateur combative sports including mixed martial arts, kickboxing, modified Muay Thai and full-contact karate. The association said in a news release that it will immediately start sanctioning amateur combative sporting events. "By regulating amateur competitions, we help eliminate unsanctioned fights that put athletes at risk," said association president Tim Oehler. MMA is currently sanctioned at a provincial level in British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec, while it has been sanctioned on a municipal level within Alberta, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories. The UFC has held 14 shows to date in Canada, with cards in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Wright has said the UFC will hold a show in Halifax within the next couple of years. Danilo Pereira Jersey . Louis Cardinals on Sunday afternoon; a brief, poor outing that served to highlight two trends that have developed this season. Joao Mario Jersey . Kyle Denbrook, a soccer player from Saint Marys University, took the CIS male athlete of the week honour. Stanley, a fourth-year business administration student from Charlottetown, scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Dalhousie on Friday and tallied again in a 1-0 win over Saint Marys on Sunday.DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. -- Charles-David Beaudoin and Jerome Verrier scored in the third period to lead the Drummondville Voltigeurs past the Victoriaville Tigres 3-2 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play Sunday. Beaudoin scored at 3:53 of the third and Verrier added the eventual winner nearly five minutes later. Frederick Gaudreau also scored for Drummondville (41-21-4), which won its fourth straight, while Louis-Philip Guindon made 28 saves. Jean-Francois Plante and Julien Proulx replied for the Tigers (32-25-8), with Francois Tremblay stopping 35 shots. --- SCREAMING EAGLES 5 WILDCATS 1 SYDNEY, N.S. -- The Screaming Eagles offence overwhelmed the Wildcats, who didnt break through until the dying moments of regulation. Bradley Lalonde, Charles-Eric Legare, Raphael Corriveau, Kyle Farrell and Cameron Darcy scored for Cape Breton (35-26-4). Stephan Seeger had the lone goal for Moncton (32-31-3) at 18:49 of the third. Zachary Fortin stopped 22 shots for the Screaming Eagles, while at the other end of the ice, Alex Dubeau made 33 saves. --- TITAN 7 SEA DOGS 4 BATHURST, N.B. -- The Titan rallied from a 4-0 ddeficit in the first period to beat Saint John. Rui Patricio Jersey. Guillaume Brisebois and Scott Oke each scored twice for Acadie-Bathurst (21-39-6), with Nicholas Blanchard, Alexandre Gosselin and Alexandros Soumakis adding singles. Oliver Cooper opened the game with a pair of goals for the lowly Sea Dogs (19-41-5), with Matthew Highmore and Samuel Dove-McFalls contributing one each. Jacob Brennan was pulled from the Titans net after allowing three goals on six shots, but Miguel Sullivan took over and stopped 28 shots. Antoine Landry meanwhile made 21-of-26 saves for Saint John, and Sebastien Auger gave up a goal on six shots. --- REMPARTS 6 PHOENIX 1 QUEBEC CITY -- The Remparts gave up the first goal but took over from there for an easy win against Sherbrooke. Lucas Batt, Fabrice Herzog, Duncan MacIntyre, Hubert Lamarre, Olivier Archambault and Nick Sorensen each had a goal for Quebec (38-16-11). Vincent Deslauriers scored the lone goal for the league-worst Phoenix (16-41-8). 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