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Regulation & Insurance in MMA

By Zach Arnold | January 25, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

Alex J. Rhowunio’ng of the Pacific Daily News in Guam has an interesting article about how fighters on an upcoming MMA show are not insured and how this is being politically received.

Ferd Lewis in the Honolulu Advertiser has a column about regulating MMA in Hawaii. A bill was passed last year that went into effect in 2006 regarding standards for promoters to live up to when running shows. Lewis wants more provisions inserted into the legislation. He states:

When Icon promoter T. Jay Thompson suspended headliner Jason “Mayhem” Miller on Saturday while first-degree burglary charges and possible revocation of probation on an unrelated assault charge are addressed, it showed commendable responsibility on the promotion’s part.

But it also reminded that without real rules in place the industry is dependent upon the people involved taking the rare initiative to police themselves. A dangerous proposition indeed in any industry when you’re depending upon the very people who profit by the business to choose conscience over their check books.

I’ve been trying to get Dayton Morinaga of the Honolulu Advertiser onto our radio show. If anyone knows him or knows how to get a hold of him (I tried the e-mail route, already) or if he somehow is magically reading this, contact me.

Topics: All Topics, MMA, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

One Response to “Regulation & Insurance in MMA”

  1. Tomer says:

    I agree with both of the articles above. Mr. Rhowunio’ng’s article on the insurance policy is an important point, as people sometimes think “At least they don’t really need to worry about the health bills as the government and/or the promotion will cover them.” but people tend to forget that that’s only if an actual state commission is being run (like the NSAC). There’s quite a few midwest states that have little or no regulatory bodies and essentially is ‘anything goes’ (which may be how someone like ‘Baby’ Joe Mesi will get to fight again even if the NSAC and other supporting commissions refuse to give him a new license to fight due to his hematoma). This type of ‘Wild West’ situation where lawlessness is in abundance can also be seen in the tragic death of Douglas Dedge. Although he was banned from fighting in the US due to a pre-existing health condition that caused him to black out, he simply went to a place with virtually no sanctioning body (Kiev, Ukraine) and ended up dying from falling unconscious due to to a relatively minimal concussion/damage from a few weak looking punches being multipled by his condition.

    Simply put, we need a sanctioning body in every state that will provide some sort of insurance guarantee (not (completely) out of the fighter’s pockets, though, in my opinion; the promoters should foot the bills or at least part of it) for fighters as well as medical testing and universal suspensions. And if, like what happened to “Cabbage” Correira, a fighter gets injured right before a fight, they should either substitute him with an alternate or simply remove the fight. A fight who isn’t 100% entering a fight risks even more serious injury or even death by going in under their best potential. Not a good thing for the sport.

    As for the second article, I think it’s pretty awful that a fighter can be allowed to essentially fight at a catchweight (although in the case of a 170 lb fighter being replaced by a 157 one, that technically would still be within the Welterweight weight class range, at least according to NSAC rules). As much as people sometimes wish for the ‘good old days’ of MMA with no weight classes, weight classes allow for more competitive fights and less freak show events to occur. It’s hard to preserve the image of a fighting sport built on skills when you have a 500 lb+ mammoth charging at a 170 lb man. Yes, the 170 lb man may sometimes win, but win or lose, it’s still seen as a spectacle rather than as a sport and can only turn back the image of MMA or fighting as a whole in the long run.

    The same flaws which plague the Pro Wrestling industry (being completely deregulated by most athletic commissions for nearly a decade and a half) are seen in the fight world (MMA, Boxing, K-1, etc.).

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