By CHRIS PARRY
Local MMA companies leaving Vancouver as city drags feet on legitimacy
Adam Ryan's Dynamic MMA gym was one of the success stories of local MMA in Vancouver. Sitting on Cambie Street near 41st Ave, the gym has been home to scores of police officers, teachers, teenagers, seniors, and elite fighters such as Belgium's Bastien Huveneers.
But Dynamic is no longer a Vancouver-based company. Instead, it has moved to Richmond, where a huge space has been opened (5,000 sq. feet) with a store, offices, a genuine MMA cage and more.
Dynamic's not the only company leaving Vancouver; Battlefield Fight League has also fled the shed, lining up an event in Nanaimo on January 3. They had to make the move out of Vancouver because they wanted to make use of local former-UFC fighters Denis Kang and Jesse "JT Money" Taylor, but can't do so because Vancouver won't allow professional events - even though we're now halfway through a supposed two-year pro-MMA test period. One-time local light Honor Combat Championships has seemingly folded the tent after a disastrous financial hit taken on an outdoor show earlier this year. Manny Sobral's West Coast Promotions has talked about doing a Vancouver show, but they instead moved out to Coquitlam.
Even the pro wrestling promoters are getting out of the business; local promotion ECCW has new owners after long-time promoter Dave Teixeira seemingly decided the time has come to stop fighting the city's increasingly odious rules and regulations and move on to other things in his life.
What all of this means is simple - less money for the city, despite promoters and gyms SCREAMING for the chance to do business in town.
Why is this happening? The issue at hand is, the city won't tell promoters what's needed to satisfy city insurance needs, so the promoters simply can't put on an event... unless they're the UFC and can spends scads of cash on seven-figure insurance coverage and can sign gigantic waivers protecting the city against something that has never happened in the history of ANY combat sport - a fighter suing the city for allowing them to fight.
Battlefield will return to the lower mainland on January 15, but again not to Vancouver - instead they'll hold an event at he River Rock Casino in Richmond (there's that name again... is Richmond embracing MMA?).
For those who don't mind traveling to Richmond, Dynamic is having a big Christmas clothing sale (up to 50% off) at their location at #140, 7951 Alderbridge Way, Richmond B.C. For the uninitiated, that's half a block from the Lansdowne Mall Skytrain station, behind the old XS Cargo building.