West Virginia delegate charges new MMA rules deter promotions

by Paul Fallon | source: dailymail.com

Despite the fact they were recently legalized, a Hancock County legislator is accusing a state athletic official of using his power to keep mixed martial arts events out of the state.

Delegate Randy Swartzmiller was one of several sponsors of a bill passed this year that legalized the sport, commonly referred to as MMA, in West Virginia.

The rules, which are now open for public comment, include stipulations that Swartzmiller believes make it too expensive for smaller promoters to hold MMA events in the state.

He also believes this is a conscious effort by Athletic Commission Chairman Steve Allred, who was a vocal opponent of the sport's legalization, to keep MMA out of the state.

The rules include stipulations that MMA promoters insure every fighter for $100,000, said Sam Minardi, a lobbyist with a major mixed martial arts fight promotion that pushed for legalization. Boxing promoters have to insure their fighters for $20,000 for injuries or accidental death, Minardi said.

MMA rules also include a stipulation that promoters have to put forth a $50,000 bond for an event, he said. Boxing promoters in the state have to put up a $20,000 bond to hold an event, Minardi said.

"This doesn't surprise me," Swartzmiller said. "Steve Allred has made comments that he would set prices so high promoters couldn't come here.

"He doesn't care that the people in the state want this. "He doesn't care that the Legislature passed this and the governor signed this.

"He doesn't care because he doesn't want MMA in the state."

Allred said he would not speak about the specific proposed rules until the public comment period ended on July 18.

But Allred did say he thought accusations that the rules were being drafted to keep small MMA promoters from holding events in the state were "ludicrous" because the legislature had voted to legalize the sport.

Swartzmiller believes Allred is abusing his power as the chairman of the state's Athletic Commission.

"This is a slap in the face of the Legislature and a slap in the face of the governor of the great state of West Virginia," he said. 

Minardi also questioned why Allred would propose rules that would make it difficult, if not impossible, for small promoters to hold an event in the state after MMA was legalized by an act of the Legislature.

"The Legislature has said that they want to do this," Minardi said. "Why would he (Allred) implement rules that would basically prohibit any responsible promoter from holding an event?"

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tags: Legislation   Regulation   West Virginia   Sam Allred   


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Recent Comments »

Kneeblock site profile image  

7/12/11 9:32 PM by Kneeblock

I think the insurance rates being suggested are reasonable. A fighter can get seriously injured and be effed up for life. If you are going to promote an event, you should carry the proper coverage. I think fighter safety is more important than small business MMA promotions. Leave West Virginia to the UFC.

SpartanCurry site profile image  

7/12/11 11:13 AM by SpartanCurry

I'm a WV resident and have been involved in BJJ and wresling for more than 10 years. They have several middle of the pack MMA schools in WV but most of the students who want to fight/train will leave WV for VA/OH/KY (like I do). It's easier to just go across the border and train, I drive all the way to Christiansburg VA (5 hours) when I want to train, just so I can be at a good school. It keeps really legit and top notch schools from expanding into WV. It's really unfortunate because in my neighborhood alone about 50% of the people are MMA fans. This guy should be thrown off of the AC. I'm writing to Senator Manchin and encourage everyone who is an MMA and especially a WV resident to do the same.

crazychris site profile image  

7/11/11 10:12 PM by crazychris

On behalf of West Virginia, i'll be writing that ass hole. GO WVU, AND LONG LIVE MIXED MARTIAL ARTS!

shankfighter site profile image  

7/11/11 10:09 PM by shankfighter

I'm almost positive Allred isn't even supposed to be comish anymore. I was pretty sure he was supposed to be out in June.

Roidie McDouchebag site profile image  

7/11/11 9:51 PM by Roidie McDouchebag

Regulating MMA AT ALL infringes on personal freedoms, it's just worse in this case

mexican jujitsu site profile image  

7/11/11 6:53 PM by mexican jujitsu

no, thats just called being a fucking prick.

Devlin site profile image  

7/11/11 5:44 PM by Devlin

it kind of is, he's basically saying i dont care what the people i represent want, i dont like it.

Tzrobson site profile image  

7/11/11 5:03 PM by Tzrobson

I could be wrong but isnt this sorta facism?Not too good with political ideal differentation, but using power to impose will on others...

JBob300 site profile image  

7/11/11 4:48 PM by JBob300


Devlin site profile image  

7/11/11 4:31 PM by Devlin

Slap in the face on democracy right there,