Njsacb Denies Levine Promoter’s License For July 3rd Wef Event; Wef West Virginia Event “postponed” This Weekend
NJSACB Denies Levine Promoter’s License for July 3rd WEF Event;
WEF West Virginia Event "Postponed" This Weekend
By Loretta Hunt
World Extreme Fighting founder and promoter Jamie Levine has been denied a license to hold an upcoming MMA event in the New Jersey. In a notice sent to Levine by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board this afternoon, it states, "Your tentative approval to conduct a professional mixed martial arts event on July 3, 2005, at the Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey has been rescinded in full. You do not have this agency’s approval to go forth with your scheduled event."
Levine, who had filed for a temporary co-promoter’s license in May after the NJSACB could not determine two separate, original applicants’ connections to the WEF promotion, has been asked to immediately "cease and desist from all activities relating to the promotion of the event" or face numerous civil penalties.
In addition, FCF has learned an alleged WEF event entitled "World Extreme Cage Wrestling," scheduled for this Saturday at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in West Virginia, has been cancelled. There had been speculation that the event was being marketed as a pro-wrestling show, but was in actuality a mixed martial arts event. Under WVAC legislature, mixed martial arts, or "ultimate fighting" as it is indexed, is prohibited in the state.
"I had no knowledge whatsoever of what it was," says WVAC Chairman Steve Allred. "Someone had informed me that they had seen an advertisement for the event, and I was really just trying to make some inquiries as to what it was." Allred says he was notified by the promotion’s attorney this morning that the event had been cancelled. A representative for the proposed event’s venue told FCF the show had been "postponed due to low ticket sales."
In New Jersey, Levine’s rejection is the first occurrence in which an individual has been denied a promoter’s license to hold a professional MMA event. In Levine’s notification letter, NJSACB Deputy Attorney General and Counsel Nick Lembo listed eleven reasons that may have impeded Levine from getting final approval for licensure — five of them derived from a May 20th WEF event that took place at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Levine fought in its co-main event. They include Levine reportedly testing positive for two banned stimulants following his May 20th fight, Levine inflating the advertised record of his opponent in that bout and the WEF’s failure to stage a competitive overall card, Levine reportedly acting in a promotional capacity for the same event he fought in, as well as the WEF and its affiliates’ "apparent failure to initially satisfy all financial obligations related to the staging of the May 20th event." The letter also listed Levine’s recent charge for alleged criminal conduct as another basis for refusal.
Additionally, the notice stated numerous grounds for denial based upon the proposed July event in New Jersey, including the promotion’s failure to produce a list of competitors as of the date of the letter; failure to satisfy many regulatory requirements such as medical insurance, medical testing, and approved matchmaking; the time constraint that full background checks for all involved parties had yet not been completed; the substantial amount of negative media coverage surrounding Levine and the WEF; as well as the appearance that individuals were involved with the event in "significant capacity" and were not licensed to do so.
"We’re very hesitant to shut down this event and it was a last resort move," commented New Jersey Counsel Lembo this afternoon. "We’ve enjoyed great success with the mixed martial arts community and several different promoters and various sizes of shows. We continue to look forward to working with all promoters in the future that are willing to meet our standards and follow our rules and regulations, and look towards further growth of the sport in our state, as well as other states."
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