"To:CNN Money Reports
Re: Illegal Fight Club Hides in NY
Although the content of the report about the UCL/Illegal Fight Club in New York is unfortunately, accurate and if anything, understated, granting UCL’s CEO Peter Storm access to free press makes a mockery of legitimate promotions and Athletic Control Boards and sets the sport of MMA's reputation back at least 10-15 years, prior to the adoption of the Unified Rules of MMA initially drafted by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board in 2000.
The purpose of these rules is first and foremost, to make mixed martial arts competitions as safe as possible for its athletes: the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) has continued to modify the original rules as the sport evolves and the skill sets of its participants change.
In this tape, Peter Storm 'proudly states' that he has only 4 rules. A young, obviously poorly trained young man is knocked out more than once in the same session and is hit on the back of the head multiple times. There are no trained referees, ringside physician(s) or ambulance(s) present. No legitimate trainer permits his athletes to participate in these promotions, since there is no way to ensure appropriate match making. Promoters of this sort claim their injury rate is no greater than that of events which comply with State Regulatory Commissions. However, many problems are not necessarily apparent the night of the event. For example, concussive symptoms (simple or complex) may not manifest immediately. Orbital fractures may be missed as may hand, rib or abdominal issues. Pre-fight testing also eliminates young, deceptively healthy looking athletes from competing (a case in point is Thiago Alves, whose dural fistula, if not fixed, could have ruptured at any time and killed him). The risk of spread of communicable diseases such as hepatitis B or C is also minimized with pre-fight testing.
In the state of New Jersey a fighter who has participated in one of these events must subject him/herself to full pro-medical pre-fight evaluations (which in New Jersey include either a head CT or MRI/MRA, full ophthalmologic examination, an EKG, HIV1/2 and hepatitis B and C screening, CBC and clotting times and a complete physical examination)before being allowed to fight for a licensed promoter, since there is no way to determine what types of injuries were sustained during an illegal match as no official records are kept.
The UCL is illegal and is potentially dangerous to its participants. It is only a matter of time until someone gets severely injured in one of these events. The shows should be stopped and charges should be pressed because of the blatant disregard of fighter safety for personal profit, and because, quite simply, what Peter Storm is flaunting, is illegal.
Dr. Sheryl Wulkan
Chief MMA Ringside Physician, New Jersey State Athletic Control Board
ABC MMA Rules Committee Medical Chair
Ringside Physician, New York State Athletic Commission
Certified Member, American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians"