Michigan bans promoter for life
Michigan so egregiously failed to adequately regulate amateurs that in 2014 the Association of Boxing Commissions took the unprecedented step of asking the member commissions to bar amateur Michigan fighters, or those who have recently competed in Michigan.
Safety in Michigan was left solely in the hands of for-profit promoters. While some promoters were responsible, many were not. Pre-fight screenings were generally minimal or non-existent, with no tests for AIDS or Hepatitis, fighters under 18 were allowed compete, multiple fights in one night were permitted, no ringside physician was required, no ambulance was required, and more.
This came to a head in 2013, when Felix Elochukwu Nchikwo, a 35-year-old Nigerian living in Hamilton, Ontario on a student visa, died following his participation in an unregulated amateur MMA bout in Michigan.
In 2015 Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed a regulatory bill into law. And now that law is being enforced. After an investigation, the state has permanently revoked the license of a promoter.
Aron Anglebrandt was fined $15,000 and had his license to operate Amateur Fighting Club taken, according to a statement from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
The investigation found that Anglebrandt committed the following:
•Conducted unapproved amateur mixed martial arts contests.
•Allowed others to compete without proper licenses.
•Allowed contestants to compete without proper medical clearance.
•Allowed contestants to compete without submitting results of required medical tests.
•Aided and abetted an amateur mixed martial artist to act as a contestant without a license.
•Aided and abetted a referee to act as a referee without a license.
failed to ensure that an inspector and a trained, licensed referee were present during the entire event.
•Failed to ensure there were three licensed judges present to evaluate all bouts.
•Failed to report the results of each contest to the state licensing bureau, including any physician recommendations.
•Failed to provide contracts between the promoter and the contestants to the state licensing bureau.
•Engaged in fraud, deceit or dishonesty in performing the duties of a promoter.
•Participated in a sham or fake contest or event.
•Engaged in conduct that is detrimental to a contest or exhibition.
Others fined or cited as part of the investigation, according to LARA, included:
•Shannon Hale: Permanent revocation of timekeeper and judge licenses and a $2,000 fine.
•Joseph John Battaglia: A professional mixed martial artist, prohibited from applying for any license issued under the Unarmed Combat Regulatory Act for six months, and a $4,000 fine.
•Ramsey J. Beard: An amateur mixed martial artist, license was suspended from for six months through Dec. 14, 2016.
•Zhakwarius Johnson: An unlicensed contestant, cease and desist order became final on July 18, 2016, after Johnson did not request a contested case hearing to challenge it.