MMA in Oklahoma to continue

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On March 5, Joe Miller, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Professional Boxing Commission, issued a letter to MMA, boxing, and pro wrestling promoters announcing the suspension of all events in Oklahoma after March 31. The potential ban was prompted because the state, which has charged a four percent tax on all pay-per-view events since 2004, including those held outside of Oklahoma, was being threatened with a lawsuit from the UFC to have the tax removed.

However, Miller told Sherdog.com on Wednesday that he has been visiting with state legislature and has received “verbal acknowledgements that they are going to ensure that the commission does not dissolve.”

“There will be a number of cuts. I’ve got about 25 different scenarios of what we can do and still survive. Some of them require drastic cuts in the way we support the events with personnel. Some of them require some increases for license fees and some charges where we’ve never charged before, such as national MMA IDs. …The promoter will probably be responsible to pick up the tab on some of the things that we have in the past such as the cost of inspectors and things like that.

“There’s no one ingredient, no one model that we’ve settled on yet. All of that is still to be determined as to how we’re going to do it. It’s just going to depend on what the legislature will allow us to do,” he said.

“(The UFC) are not totally trying to can the commission and make us go away. They’re being helpful in trying to formulate some solutions to help us build and continue.”

“Right now I’m on the verge of rescinding that particular letter and continuing business from the indication I’ve received from some of my state legislators. With everybody working together…I think we’ve got (enough) support in place that’s going to ensure that we continue in some shape or fashion. I fully intend not to miss a beat after March 31. It could come in May or June this year that we may have to take another look at it and see where we’re going. Because without adequate funds, there’s absolutely no way we could exist and do what we’re charged to do.”

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