VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A Mixed Martial arts tradeshow originally slated to be held in Abbotsford in April but then moved to the PNE because of gang concerns has now been cancelled.
Promoter Gerry Chopik claims a contract was signed with the PNE but then he was told the expo could only continue with very tight restrictions. “We couldn’t have any demonstrations unless it was one person demonstrating. We had to take off the show. For the Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, there is no punching there’s no kicking there’s no MMA there’s no anything, no two people competing in any manner.”
He says it wouldn’t be fair to continue the show under those restrictions so he chose to cancel. “I cannot possibly deliver this event and hoodwink my attendees and my exhibitors. Shortchange them and deliver half a show.”
Chopik stresses the expo isn’t primarily about hosting fights. “We are not mixed martial arts professionals entering the cage here. This is like the home show, the boat show for MMA.”
The PNE’s Laura Ballance says the promoter couldn’t move forward after learning no person on person demonstrations could be held. “Certainly as the venue location, we can’t be in a position of exposing ourselves to an insurance liability on this event at this time.”
The City of Vancouver, Vancouver Athletic Commission, and other levels of government continue to look at liability issues surrounding the controversial sport. Right now, no MMA event can be insured in B.C.
Chopik says he’s now on the hook for thousands of dollars with some exhibitors, and plans to take the city of Abbotsford to court.