Mass Mma Against The Ropes;community Meeting Weighs Future
Mass MMA Against The Ropes;
Community Meeting Weighs Future
By Derek Callahan
On Tuesday, July 12th, members of the New England MMA community gathered in Stoughton, Massachusetts to discuss the direction of local mixed martial arts. After MMA took some media heat, which included inflammatory articles in a variety of local and city-wide newspapers, the Massachusetts Boxing Commission, the body that sanctioned MMA in the state, has taken a step back to review MMA and put a freeze on its sanctioning. As of now, MMA has no existing connection to the Commission, and therefore no set laws or rules that come with having a supervisory body to oversee the sport.
"Right now their insurance advisors said that they cannot oversee us because the language of MMA is not written into the law," said local trainer/fighter/promoter Mike Littlefield on why the Commission has put a hold on their association with MMA.
Currently, all MMA fighters who have fought on a sanctioned local show are licensed, but they are licensed as kickboxers. In the past, MMA was deemed a moneymaker, and therefore the Commission agreed to oversee it. But, when the media began to bring MMA into the public eye with an array of articles in a short period of time, it came to light that the sport, while sanctioned by the Boxing Commission, actually has no exclusive law protecting it.
After some words from their insurance advisors, members of the Massachusetts Commission are heading to Las Vegas towards the end of this month for the annual Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) meeting, which convenes several athletic boards and sanctioning bodies together from across the country. UFC President Dana White is penciled in to attend, and Littlefield is hopeful that once this meeting comes to pass, it will help the chances of MMA in Massachusetts.
"We’re hoping that they’re gonna come back with unified rules and just take it over again," said Littlefield. "Hopefully the commission will push this into law. The structure is already set up, they have a commissioner, referees, they have the judges–all they need is a language that accepts our rules."
For now, MMA isn’t necessarily shut down in the state. While the sport is being lobbied into law, the people that have pumped life into MMA in the past don’t intend to stop. But, as discussed at the Stoughton meeting, they have to tread carefully.
"We’re gonna continue to govern MMA, we’ll just have to do it ourselves until the law steps in and takes over," said Littlefield. So long as a promoter has permission from a town to hold an event and a venue to do it in, he’s good to go. But those perpetuating the sport, a tight-knit group already, have to be sure that all the shows being held are well-run and legitimate.
The last thing MMA needs is to prove right the type of negative press that it has been garnishing. As Littlefield pointed out, "We as the leaders of the Massachusetts MMA community need to govern ourselves until the Commission comes back. We’re not gonna let it run wild."
From the event’s promoter:
RITC 72 – Results
Lansing named Fighter of Night
A standing room only crowd of 3,500+ welcomed Rage in the Cage to Fort McDowell Casibo in Fountain Hills Arizona. John Lansing returned to RITC action after a 2 year lay off to fight highly regarded Robert Rose. Lansing won by arm bar submission late in round 1 to earn Fighter of the Night (FOTN) honors. Other candidates for FOTN honors were Brandon Oliver, Josh Donahue, Brandon Mullins, Richie Hightower, Jamie Schmitt, Jesse Forbes and Brian Bourgeois.
Brandon Oliver (140), Team Brausa
Josh Donahue (150), Team Brausa
Brandon Mullins (182), Team Brausa
Richie Hightower (202), Genesis JJ/Roufus Kick-Boxing
Jamie Schmitt (176), AMMAC
Jesse Forbes (204), ACS
RITC 73 – Domination