Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy: If MMA ignores rules we bring in, it has no future in Ireland
Published 14/04/2016 | 12:47
Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy has issued a stark warning to athletes participating in mixed martial arts in Ireland.
Treacy said that he was meeting with officials from the Department of Sport officials this week with a view to providing regulatory guidelines for the sport in the wake of the tragic death of Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho on Monday.
Treacy was very clear about the consequences if these new guidelines were not followed.
"This is something that needs to be looked at closely and we need to look at what (regulations) they have in place and examine it," he told RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland.
"If we bring forward guidelines and codes of practice and they are not followed then I think there is no place for it in Ireland, it's as simple as that.
"The situation with the MMA in the country is that there isn't a national organisation. It's made up of promoters and individuals
"We sat down with them about two years ago. We said that they needed to form a corporate body in some way if they wanted to be recognised as a sport.
"I believe they have rules and regulations with regard to having doctors in place and what have you but the sport is an extreme element of sport. There is danger there."
Following Carvalho's death, Treacy believes that MMA promoters and organisers should think long and hard before opting to put on more events in Ireland.
"You look at the events of last weekend. There is, I suppose, some history in terms of brain haemorrhages and what have you in the sport," he added.
"I would think any promoter putting on events in Ireland at the moment, they would want to be looking at it very, very carefully and making sure they have the rules and regulations and that the safety of their players and athletes is paramount."
The Irish Amateur Pankration Association (IAPA), which represents mixed martial arts fighters, said it is working diligently with organisers of the weekend event, Total Extreme Fighting, to gather and evaluate all relevant facts and event processes.
Mixed martial arts has grown in popularity in Ireland since the emergence of McGregor as a title holder.
Tens of thousands of Irish fans have flooded bouts in Dublin and Las Vegas while the fights in octagon cages have received increasing mainstream media coverage.