December 15, 2010
Sean Pierson has had two lifelong dreams come true recently. He won his UFC debut over Matt Riddle, and he was hired by the Toronto Police Department. Unfortunately, his persona as a fighter has prevented him from being a cop.
Pierson has been dismissed by the Toronto Police. It cited concerns about his one-time nickname of "Pimp Daddy," and the time and effort that Pierson needs to commit to fighting.
Pierson said that the nickname was something that he used when he was 23. He is now 34, has been married for nine years, and has a 2-year-old son.
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Just after returning home to Toronto after winning a unanimous decision at UFC 124, Pierson was supposed to start work with the police force. Instead, he was told to turn in his uniform and stay away until the police force investigates his situation. A police rep said that all officers must clear secondary employment.
“I can appreciate the position they’re in with what I do,” said Pierson. “I don’t look at mixed martial arts as a negative, but I think the mainstream still looks at us as a bit of a black eye.”
MMA hasn't had an easy time becoming accepted in Toronto, which also may explain the TPD's reluctance to allow Pierson to fight while serving and protecting. Despite the overwhelming popularity of MMA in Canada, the sport was only legalized in Ontario in August. Some news outlets are still not warm to the sport. The UFC will host its first event in Toronto on April 30, 2011.
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Given the long layoff that can happen between fights, it's not odd for a fighter to have another job. Pierson is far from the only civil servant who moonlights as a fighter. Welterweight Chris Lytle is a firefighter in Indianapolis, while fellow welterweight Paulo Thiago serves on Brasilia, Brazil police department's special forces. Unfortunately, the Toronto Police Department wasn't able to see the positives of having a well-trained mixed martial artist on its side and look past any stereotypes about the sport.
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