Herald incorrect, UFC on FOX Sports 1 in Boston not in jeopardy


The Boston Herald's Dave Wedge is reporting that Massachusetts laws regarding international fighter licensing are jeopardising UFC on FOX Sports 1, on August 17, 2013 at the TD Garden in Boston. Fighters without the required social security number include Brazilian nationals Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Thiago Alves, Yuri Alcantara, and Diego Brandao, Armenian Manny “The Anvil” Gamburyan and Swede Akira Cor­assani.

State red tape could knock out a blockbuster fight card slated for Boston Garden later this summer as government officials are refusing the UFC’s request to relax rules barring foreign-born fighters from hitting the octagon without Social Security numbers.

“This law has been in existence since we legalized mixed martial arts in the commonwealth of Mass­achusetts,” said Terrell Harris, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, which regulates prize fighting.

“It’s been brought to the attention of the UFC more than a few times since we legalized the fighting here. But they’ve chosen basically to ignore the law and hope that they could skirt it somehow,” Harris said.

Under federal Social Security Administration rules, a fighter can get a temporary number after a 10-day grace period.

“When they bring in fighters that are not American citizens, there are exceptions that allow them to obtain a Social Security number,” Harris said.

“The Social Security Administration will issue a temporary work visa but it’s up to them to do their due diligence,” he said.

Harris said the UFC has petitioned the state for a one-time exception to allow foreign fighters to square off at the Aug. 17 Garden event — with or without a valid Social Security number. But state law is clear that officials are prohibited from issuing an MMA license to any fighter without proper documentation.

“They’ve approached us and asked us if we could make exceptions to the law for them,” Harris said.

“But the law is the law. The law doesn’t allow us to make exceptions.”

One state official said a major UFC fight such as the Boston event could bring in as much as $50 million in revenue to the city. House Speaker Robert F. DeLeo urged the UFC to contact lawmakers to try to find a solution.

“The Speaker was not aware of the problem and has not been in touch with UFC officials, but would be eager to learn more about it,” DeLeo spokesman Seth Gitell said.

Read entire article...

Despite the alarmist content, there is every expectation that the fight will go on as planned.

Top manager Shu Hirata tweeted about one route through.

Shu Hirata ‏@ShuHirata
if u don't live in US then u can no longer get ss #. Only tax ID # and u have to send in actual passport to IRS to get this.

Shu Hirata ‏@ShuHirata
fill out form W7 and send in with passport, then u can get tax ID # in like a month so for Boston UFC show still got time.

Shu Hirata ‏@ShuHirata
I do tax filing for all my foreign clients so I am an expert in this topic :) But sending in passport makes everyone nervous

Read enttire Twitter...

The UFC is already addressing the issue internally, for any fighters without a US social security number.

"The show will definitely be taking place," said UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner, who added that he is working on the issue.


tags: UFC on FOX Sports 1   

Get the MMA Underground app. for iPhone and Andriod devices.
iPhone Application Andriod MMA Underground Application

Recent Comments »

BALLSDEEP site profile image  

6/18/13 6:17 PM by BALLSDEEP

You make a valid point, sir, but Whitey aint beating this case (even with the juror's names being made public & his good attorneys) so Dana should be able to bring his horse & pony show back to Boston & have the last laugh.

TheGoldenRule site profile image  

6/18/13 1:35 PM by TheGoldenRule

Thanx, Rick.Anyone wanna guess how much of this truth represents (directly or indirectly) the fundamental reasons why the USA currently has a deficit which cannot be paid off within the lifetime of anyone existing? ....grrrr, argh

Rickmassmma site profile image  

6/18/13 1:28 PM by Rickmassmma

I just spoke with someone involved with the situation, and here is the deal. This is a current law on the books in MA. It's not a "rule" the commission created to be a pain in the ass. To obtain any license in MA, you need to have a SSN. The one exception is a driver's license, which was a law they passed fairly recently. Either way, it was a law that was passed by state government, not some guy at the DMV deciding to change it. This is 100% not up to the Mass State Athletic Commission. They can't change this law any more than they could change the legal drinking age to 19 at MMA events in the state. As far as how the UFC was able to bypass this at 118, quite simply, nobody at MSAC realized this was a law. They were a newly formed commission of roughly 3 months, and had no idea this law existed. This was brought to their attention shortly after UFC 118 and several fighters have been denied a license in MA due to not having a SSN since the first UFC show.As far as what has to happen in order to make the fights happen, fighters need to apply for a temporary SSN. I've been told it's a very simple process and that it's not really an "application" and what I mean by that is that they won't get denied if they have a criminal record, or don't meet some other criteria. They literally have to fill out the paperwork and they're good. Those of you who read massmma or northeastmma know that I torture the MSAC any chance I get..but this simply isn't on them. It's not their law, and they can't change it or make exceptions to it. The one time exception the UFC is asking for would have to be approved by local government, not the athletic commission.

ausgepicht site profile image  

6/18/13 1:18 PM by ausgepicht

Like I said. After the event and the politicians saw the numbers, they started wringing their hands. "Hmmmm....let's check the law books, even the Blue Laws, and see if we can't throw our weight around and get our palms greased." The second demongraphic politician is the holy roller who knows what is best for everyone, and wants to save them from devil music, nipples, and human cockfighting.  It's either greed or jeebus. Likely both.

Bobby Lupo site profile image  

6/18/13 12:34 PM by Bobby Lupo

If Conor can't fight, who cares about this event?

Steve4192 site profile image  

6/18/13 12:05 PM by Steve4192

Why was this not an issue at UFC 118?Five non-US nationals (Demian Maia, Mario Miranda, Andre Winner, Nick Osipczak, Amilcar Alves) fought on that card without a fuss. Has something changed since 2010?

Steve4192 site profile image  

6/18/13 12:03 PM by Steve4192

They're probably working both angles. Working with the Federal government to get the SSNs, and working with the state government to get an exception in case the Feds don't come through in time. It's called contingency planning.

easedel site profile image  

6/18/13 11:21 AM by easedel

This ^

stevekt site profile image  

6/18/13 11:17 AM by stevekt

Make up some SS numbers. Let's get this show going.