Fighters call for amateur MMA regulation or ban in Michigan


There are 13 states in the USA where amateur MMA is permitted, but not regulated. In most cases a reputable independent sanctioning body is required. In Michigan however, you can step out of the audience and into the cage, without so much as a weigh in or blood test.


Although he's committed to the sport as a promoter and a former fighter, Joseph Battaglia, one of the owners of the Fight Club Proving Ground, said he would rather see the amateur sport banned in Michigan if it's not regulated or sanctioned.

"It's the wild, wild west. You can literally do whatever you want," he said. "Somebody's gonna die in this sport unless it's regulated. I truly believe that... There's a lot of scumbags in this business that you're signing your life away with."

Ask Battaglia and the fighters at his gym, and they can rattle off the tactics that allow unscrupulous promoters to put on a show at minimal cost. To name just a few: no weigh-ins to allow fighters to be matched properly; no insurance to cover injuries; inadequate medical staff on hand; no blood tests to make sure fighters are free of certain blood-borne illnesses, and pulling spectators from their seats to fight.

Joseph Donofrio, a major promoter of professional MMA events at venues such as the Palace of Auburn Hills, noted that the lack of Regulations gives an advantage to those who promote only amateur events. It might cost $50,000 to put on a professional show, but someone who cuts corners could put on an amateur show for a few thousand dollars.

Donofrio provided a list of additions he said should be made to stalled legislation that he feels are necessary, including addressing some of the insurance and medical staffing deficiencies at many shows and preventing professional fighters from fighting in amateur shows.

The lack of regulations for amateurs as well as other complaints from the Association of Boxing Commissions prompted the group to recommend banning fighters from Michigan, something Ohio did in March.

Bernie Profato, the executive director of the Ohio Athletic Commission, said the lack of regulations, including the failure to have Michigan fighters register in a national database, potentially puts Ohio fighters at risk. He asked why Michigan would choose to continue regulating professionals but not amateurs, who are arguably the most vulnerable fighters.

"Even in the animal kingdom, do you look out for the cub or the bear?" he said, mentioning that the state could raise revenue to fund regulation by charging for amateur licenses. "If you don't regulate it, then ban it."

A bill that would have allowed for the regulation of amateur mixed martial arts was left to languish in committee in the most recent legislative session.

Read entire article...


tags: Regulation   Michigan   


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Recent Comments »

tog_320 site profile image  

12/29/12 8:26 PM by tog_320

As a Michigan resident,i find the state Boxing commision to be frightning joke when dealing with MMA; both in professional(which is a rarity in MI) and amatuer's embarassing. This SHIT AMATUER systm in place is one of the worst aspects of the current state of MMA...changes need to be made in the direction of legitimacy. Michigan MMA has been cursed since UFC 9!

bacon19 site profile image  

12/29/12 4:05 PM by bacon19

Not XCC??? They used to give us gift bags!!! With event t shirts!! Sarcasm.

Sequoyah Sandford site profile image  

12/29/12 2:58 PM by Sequoyah Sandford

The legit promotions that I have fought for are PCFL, Donofrio's IFL, Genesis FC. TXC runs a good one but I have yet to fight for them. Alot promotions cut corners. Most of them do. I have fought 13 times in this state and only a small handful of those fights was I insured. Its a messy situation here. The pro scene isn't much better. Ive seen some of the most horrendous judging ever not too long ago. But sure regulating amateur will be good but who is gonna step the fuck up and do it? Everyone that is on the sanctioning bandwagon seems to have $$ signs in their eyes. Or at least most of them do. I just feel like alot of the promoters pushing for that just want to have control and power.

145er site profile image  

12/29/12 2:22 PM by 145er

I fought at an ammy event in northern michigan. I asked for a fight at 160. Day of the fights, I show up and see the dude I am fighting is walking around at 6'2'' 175-180.. I just said fuck it and mean mugged his ass as much as possible before our fight:).. I'm 5'7'':( 2mins into the first, I dropped his ass with an overhand left and finished with the rnc.. The weigh-ins were a joke and the small promoters up there could give a shit about match-ups... As long as you show up and fight, there good to go. They tried to get me to fight an even bigger dude later in the night after some dude backed out. That shit is whack up there!!

SonofJockstrap site profile image  

12/29/12 2:08 PM by SonofJockstrap

I actually wouldn't mind a wild west situation as long as guys can prove they don't have hepatitis or aids. I remember back in the day where my uncle use to do toughman and if someone got knocked out of the tournament after a victory they'd find replacements in the crowd and waive their entry fee for being good sports. That's true amateur hour right there. As opposed to a situation I ran into earlier this month where I had my first ammy fight and the other guy was making his debut as well, after 6 years of training. Let's just say I'm happy I lasted long enough for the doctor to stop the fight.

ChaosOverkill site profile image  

12/29/12 2:02 PM by ChaosOverkill

I don't understand why it wouldn't be in everyone (except scumbags) best interest to regulate it...

emr7774 site profile image  

12/29/12 1:56 PM by emr7774

Here in Michigan it can be the Wild West at times. I've seen good promoters making a serious effort to push the sport and help the local fighters get exposure to bigger shows. Then again I've also seen ragtag promoters just looking for a quick money grab. We definitely need some form of standardization up here

bacon19 site profile image  

12/29/12 12:33 PM by bacon19

Fought in Michigan as well. Was sketchy at times, few weigh ins by the honour system. Over all I didn't think it was that bad... On second though I did fight at an event where they pulled a guy from the crowd to fight a heavy weight. Guy was 210 fighting a guy maybe 240. He got knocked out. Came out and filled in again later that night... Got knocked out again..

Sequoyah Sandford site profile image  

12/29/12 11:27 AM by Sequoyah Sandford

Nate long has a sketchy promotion. I hear bob noble as well. There are others but those are two names i see constantly.

crowbar site profile image  

12/29/12 11:07 AM by crowbar

We need these dipshit shady promoters to make threads on the UG.