The legalization of mixed martial arts across Canada has taken another step forward.

Bill S-209, an Act to remove the Criminal Code prohibition on mixed martial arts, has now been introduced into the House of Commons by Member of Parliament Massimo Pacetti, according to a UFC release. Ryan Leef, Member of Parliament and Chair of the MMA Caucus, was one of many other prominent MP’s to second the bill.

First introduced into the Senate by Senator Bob Runciman and then subsequently approved in June 2012, the private member’s bill must pass through three readings in the House of Commons before receiving Royal Assent.

“This is another big step forward for the sport of mixed martial arts in Canada,” said UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright. “We’re thankful for the work Senator Runciman and MP Ryan Leef have done over the past year. With the support of Massimo Pacetti today, we’re yet another step closer to providing a consistent legislative framework for Canada and its provinces.”

The proposed bill is an amendment to Section 83(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada, regulating prize fighting. The suggested amendment would clarify the propriety of promoting mixed martial events throughout Canada. The current section 83 of the Criminal Code has not been updated since 1934.

The UFC has been active in promoting the passage of the bill, working closely with Canadian government officials to educate those unfamiliar with mixed martial arts and its sporting qualities. Wright and UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald even appeared before a Senate committee in May to lobby for the bill.

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