At the MMA Symposium in Boston I attended during UFC 118, I asked VP of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner what he felt some of the threats to the UFC business were.
He mentioned that unsanctioned fights posed a major issue as any injuries or incidents that occurred at said "events" would paint a bad picture for the UFC as those uneducated in MMA associate the UFC with anything related to MMA.
Despite the bizarre circumstances surrounding Shine Fights' May event that continue to unfold and the even more bizarre circumstances that resulted in Friday's event being moved from Virginia to a Native American reservation in Oklahoma, I was willing to give the organization a chance to prove the critics wrong.
Too bad they failed and almost got people seriously injured in the process.
So why does the UFC fear Shine Fights?
Because of the safety concerns. Promotions like this which attempt to play with the big boys but do so on a shoestring budget when it comes to safety hurt the overall product and provide more negatives than positives.
Imagine if Gugerty fell on his head and was severely injured. Would the mainstream have said, "Oh, that's a different organization. That wouldn't have happened in UFC."? No. The critics would have used that to indemnify a sport they already hate. It's politics: any bit of negative press helps their cause.
I guess it's no mystery why the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission had "major concerns" about the event but couldn't do anything about it because of the location.
Between the evasive maneuvers this past week and the continued fallout from the canceled North Carolina event, Shine Fights has had quite the 2010.
Here's hoping if they ever attempt another show, they'll think of their fighters' health first. If they don't, it's better for the industry if they simply disappear.
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