Michigan MMA: To Regulate or Not To Regulate?

Michigan MMA
Should Amateur Cage Fighting Be Regulated?

There has been a ton of talk about regulating Michigan MMA (amateur cage fighting)  in the State of Michigan over the past year or so.  It seems like a new amateur promotion pops up every other day.  People have this misconception that amateur cage fighting promotions make millions of dollars.  Any promoter reading this knows that is not the case.  I would venture to say that 99% of promotions that have started solely with the goal of becoming rich have failed.  These types of promotions certainly put fighters at some risk because they are not being taken care of.  If the promoter is too cheap to provide a qualified medical staff at these events, the fighters’ lives can be in danger. For these reasons, House Bill 4295 was introduced.  Currently, it is being rewritten.

The big question is: should the State of Michigan be the one to decide what “regulations” must be imposed on every amateur cage fighting event? Should they be allowed to force promoters to provide mandatory blood tests on every fighter?  Should the promoter be forced to insure every fighter on the card?  At the amateur level, cage fighting should be viewed as exhibition. The purpose of the show should be to allow fighters to become better in the sport of mixed martial arts.

In a perfect world, every Michigan MMA fighter should be blood tested before every fight.  Who should pay for this test, the promoter or the fighter?

In a perfect world, every Michigan MMA fighter should be medically insured for each event.  Who should pay for the insurance, the promoter or the fighter?

Medical insurance on fighters who are competing in MMA is very expensive. Blood tests for an entire card (usually around 30 to 40 people) is expensive.  If we get to the point where the state is managing everything promoters will more than likely have to pay an event fee every time they have a show.  They will have to provide a “state licensed” referee, timekeeper, judges, and probably more.

The point of this article is not to say if this is the right or wrong way to run amatuer Michigan MMA events.  The point is that if all of these costs are put onto the promoter, amateur cage fighting will not survive in Michigan.  There is just not enough revenue being generated to support this type of overhead cost.

I think a great solution for regulating amatuer Michigan MMA would be to for the promoters and the fighters to meet halfway.  It would be great if an organization could be formed that regulated amateur MMA events in Michigan rather than the State.

What do you think?

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