The acting Minister for Sport Michael Ring has said he foresaw the possibility of a tragic incident occurring in MMA,.
Portuguese MMA combatant Joao Carvalho
Although the sport is not recognised by Sport Ireland, Minister Ring expects an investigation to occur and he told Newstalk’s Off The Ball that the sport needs to be regulated in Ireland.
“It’s very sad for the family, very sad for the sport and very sad for the country. We don’t like to see any mishaps in sport and this is very tragic,” said Minister Ring.
“A man has died in this country participating in sport; we need to investigate it.
“We need to see what we can do to get these people regulated in this country.
“I’ve done my best. I saw this coming down the line before anybody else. I wrote to these operators and I told them I expected them to have the same standards as every other sporting event in the country and I certainly will continue to do that.”
The owner of Eventmed, the company who oversaw medical treatment at the fight night at the National Stadium, has
Minister Ring remains concerned about the safety of the sport.
“On the 20th of February 2014, before this event ever happened at all, I wrote to 17 organisations and these were commercial operators that were running for-profit events in Ireland. I wrote to the 17 of them and I outlined to them that I expected the same kind of safety standards that existed for other sports such as rugby, horse racing and professional boxing.
“I have grave concerns and I did predict something like what happened this week would happen and it did happen. It’s something that we need to deal with quickly.
“I am concerned and I have been concerned about the growth of this sport and the way that it's unregulated. This needs to be regulated.”
He says he will discuss the matter further with the Irish Sports Council.
Previously Minister Ring had told The Star in the wake of Conor McGregor’s UFC featherweight championship triumph over Jose Aldo last December that he would have “absolutely no problem” with McGregor having a title fight in Croke Park or any other Irish stadium.
“He has been an inspiration and it is a sport that has really taken off here,” he said at the time.
In a Facebook post this evening,
“It is easy for those on the outside to criticise our way of living, but for the millions of people around the world who have had their lives, their health, their fitness and their mental strength all changed for the better through combat, this is truly a bitter pill to swallow.”