|(Noah Hughes after his May 2 fight. Photo courtesy of Zack Lynch/MMAPhotography.)|
Take the case of Noah Hughes. On May 2, he lost by what was described as a brutal TKO at the Cage Wars 30 event in Albany. In a jurisdiction where amateur MMA is regulated, that would merit at least a 30-day suspension plus clearance of his facial bones by a board-certified ophthalmologist. Instead, Hughes tried to book a fight at Gladius Fights 16 in Endicott, N.Y. and Victory 9 in Manhattan. Both were on May 9, one week after his Cage Wars 30 loss. Though Gladius pulled him from their card, and he no-showed his Victory bout, Hughes kept at it, booking a match at Destination Fight! on May 22 in Glens Falls,
Hughes isn't at fault here. He's a fighter, and fighters by their very nature fight through adversity. It's what they do. And blame cannot lie with the promoters, who by law are not required to perform due diligence on who they're putting in the cage (and thanks to no requirement for reporting bout results, there's sometimes no way for them to even get an accurate fight record if they tried).
No, blame rests solely on the lack of regulation in New York, on the Combative Sports Law that permits a fighter to absorb enough head trauma to warrant a stoppage one week, and climb into the cage for another fight too soon after.
You know what the biggest problem is with the complete lack of amateur MMA regulation in New York? The fighters who slip into a coma and die.