ACs often have no say on MMA events on tribal lands

by Josh Gross | source:

Half an hour before stepping into a cage against Tommy Morrison, the famed boxer who on this June evening in 2007 could not prove for certain he was HIV-negative, John Stover was told about the rules changes.

Stover, a 340-pound full-time sheet rock worker, part-time fighter from Pine Ridge, S.D., could not grapple, could not knee, could not elbow, and could not kick. All he could do, according to Morrison's representatives, was step into a fenced-off enclosure with a man who 11 years earlier tested positive in Nevada for the life-threatening blood-born virus, strap on four-ounce gloves and punch. Well, that or not get paid.

Why did Stover suffer from less safeguards than options?

He was scheduled to meet Morrison in Camp Verde, Ariz., on the Yavapai- Apache Nation reservation, under the guise of mixed martial arts, where literally anything could -- and still can -- go. Neither fighter was required to undergo heart, blood or eye examinations prior to the bout, and the Arizona State Athletic Commission had no jurisdiction to intercede.

"It's hard for a lot people to understand that we have absolutely no control over what happens on tribal land [in regards to MMA]," said Joe Miller, executive director of the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission. "They can do what they want to. Now if it was boxing it would be a different story."

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tags: Regulation   Legislation   


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Recent Comments »

Corey site profile image  

9/15/10 6:17 PM by Corey

In WI some tribes let the AC sanction shows on their land and some won't. If you fight on a WI rez that does not let the AC sanction your show you will get suspended by the AC. I also believe that the promoter will get suspended too.I actually like that rule because then the shitty promoters can't circumvent the AC rules.

GladiatorGannon site profile image  

9/15/10 5:50 PM by GladiatorGannon

So true. It's shameful how people keep finding excuses to break the treaties, even today.

Kid Gruesome site profile image  

9/15/10 5:21 PM by Kid Gruesome

I thought this part of the article was the most interesting and should have been the focus.So, Dana wants a well-regulated amateur system in MMA - like in boxing - because it's needed, but he doesn't want the same regulations as boxing because it's not needed.

JPet site profile image  

9/15/10 4:30 PM by JPet

Title should readState ACs have no say on MMA events on tribal land UNLESS an inter-tribal agreement is in placeRITC has done shows at Fort McDowell Casino, Desert Diamond Casino, Gila River Casino and currently at Wild Horse Pass Casino. All have inter-tribal agreements with the AZ Commission granting them control of the shows.

john76 site profile image  

9/15/10 3:35 PM by john76

he had the good aids anywayeveryone has that

PeteGuirguess site profile image  

9/15/10 3:31 PM by PeteGuirguess

Tommy was a star in rocky 5, and a professional hvy wt boxer who fought ray mercer

PartsGuy site profile image  

9/15/10 3:03 PM by PartsGuy

Tommy Morrison.

LacticAcidBuildup site profile image  

9/15/10 2:55 PM by LacticAcidBuildup


Cockblock site profile image  

9/15/10 1:45 PM by Cockblock

 Who was the dude in the pic with the gyno?