Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Biggest Problem With No Amateur Regulation in New York: Dead Fighters


(Noah Hughes after his May 2 fight. Photo courtesy of Zack Lynch/MMAPhotography.)
Usually, when a fighter suffers a KO or TKO, he gets a suspension that prevents him from fighting again with injuries that need more time to heal. But that's not the case in New York, where there is no statutory regulation of amateur MMA, so fighters can climb right back onto the horse that bucked them off while still feeling the effects of a fractured orbital bone or concussion.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is Amateur coverage in NY, that is the USMTA, and they have been looking after Amateur MMA for the past 3 years. The safety record that they have is 2nd to none and the majority of NY promoters have been coming to the USMTA for sanctioning.
Its good to see that good promoters understand the system for good events and the USMTA has them covered.

i have been at some of the sanctioned events, and I can't say anything bad about them. I understand that not everyone will see goodness in them, but last year the USMTA sanctioned 72 events. That has to count for something..