Battle Over Regulating Amateur MMA Fighting in NY Rages Amid Potential Health Risks", and it does a good job of touching upon the safety and regulatory issues that have been plaguing amateur fighting here for years.
Here are a few choice bits:
- "It’s a safety concern that amateur fighter John Giordano says leaves fighters in New York vulnerable. 'It’s like the doctors have no idea and the refs have no idea what they’re doing,' Giordano told NBC New York."
- "New York native and Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion Chris Weidman says it is overdue for New York to legalize MMA and regulate the sport at both the amateur and professional levels. 'There’s a lot of bad things that can happen if it’s not monitored correctly,' says Weidman.
Weidman is so concerned about unregulated amateur MMA that he advises aspiring fighters who train at his Garden City Long Island gym to not compete in New York because it is not safe."
- "MMA's New Jersey Athletic Control Board Chief Physician Sheryl Wulkan says that 'Combat sports have an inherent danger in and of themselves. We’re trying to minimize risks.'
Dr. Wulkan has found that some fighters banned in New Jersey for health reasons go to New York to compete. 'We found that they were in fact fighting with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and in one case, HIV,' says Wulkan. She has also found fighters in New York competing with brain injuries, heart conditions, and retinal tears."
- "Assemblywoman Deborah Glick is opposed to any bill recognizing MMA as a sport. She wants it banned entirely. 'Just because New Jersey has been stupid enough to authorize this, as have many other states, does that mean you have to?' she asks. 'I think it’s a terrible idea and there is nothing that’s going to change my mind, which was made up purely by viewing the activity.'"
- "Weidman hopes that lawmakers will realize the lack of regulation of amateur MMA is dangerous and will takes steps to legalize professional MMA because the of the safety benefits. Others, like Glick, promise to stand staunchly against any promise of legalization.
'Of course I will do what I can to prevent this folly from being enacted,' she said. 'We don’t want to see them face long-term brain injury because of an ill-conceived notion that this is a sport.'"