ABC asks members to bar amateur Michigan fighters

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The creation of the Association of Boxing Commissions was mandated by Federal law for the purpose of sharing suspension information among the various State Athletic Commissions that regulate combat sports. Although the law names boxing, the spirit of the law has been applied equally to Mixed Martial Arts.

The State of Michigan has so egregiously failed to adequately regulate amateur Mixed Martial Arts that the ABC has taken the unprecedented step of asking the member commissions to bar ammy Michigan fighters, or those who have recently competed in Michigan.

Here’s the full letter that was sent out to ABC members:

On October 6, 2011, I sent the attached letter to Dr. James Webber, Chairman of the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission. The purpose of the letter was to formally provide notice of the concerns which the ABC had with the non-regulation of events in Michigan. After speaking to Dr. Weber, he seems very concerned about the way both professional and amateur sports are being regulated in Michigan, but he realizes the way the law is written in Michigan, the Commission has no power whatsoever to remedy these blatant and obvious health and safety concerns. The Michigan legislature has a great opportunity to make changes for the betterment of the sport and protect the health, safety and welfare of the contestant and ensure fair and equitable contests for all involved. Sadly, HB4295 in its present from fails to remedy the issues at hand in any fashion.

The ABC has failed, through its many and repeated communication attempts, to get the State of Mchigan to amend its policies and practices. However, the ABC cannot sit idly by while Michigan’s actions, or lack thereof, constitute threat to the health and safety of mixed martial arts; and the integrity and fairness of mixed martial arts contests.

Michigan has allowed promoters of events to consistently fail to comply regarding the reporting of results and any suspensions from mixed martial arts contests. In addition, Michigan has a repeated record of allowing mixed martial artists to compete regardless of medical or drug suspensions in place. In conclusion, the ABC sees no other option but to ask its over eighty-seven member commissions to bar any fighter with a Michigan address, a Michigan mixed martial arts identification card, or a recent record showing competition in Michigan. Otherwise, member Commissions may not realize the true record of the competitors, the medical status of the competitors, and the suspension history of the competitors.