There could be a storm brewing on the MMA horizon. WAMMA, mma’s self proclaimed first sactioning body held a press conference today to announce itself and give fans and promotions some information on how they intend to change the landscape of mixed martial arts.
According to USA Today, the sanctioning body will seek to rank the best fighters from various leagues and sanction 20-25 world championship fights per year, said President David Szady, while helping legitimize the once-outlawed sport of MMA.
“This will take the power out of the hands of the promoters,” said WAMMA Advisor and former UFC fighter Don Frye. “We need some structure. Right now we’re looking like the bastard child of the sports industry. This will help legitimize it.”
UFC President Dana White doesn’t seem to think so.
“This is exactly what this sport doesn’t need,” said White. “They’re just another group of guys looking to make some money and get a piece of the pie.”
Getting a piece of the tobacco pie made WAMMA’s underwriter, trial lawyer Fredric G. Levin of Pensacola, Florida a billionaire according to amny.com. Levin made much of his fortune by winning state lawsuits against big tobacco.
“We have enough financing to continue ad infinitum,” said Michael Lynch, 38, chief operating officer of WAMMA.
The sanctioning body’s goal, however, is to lure corporate sponsorship dollars for each championship belt of WAMMA’s nine weight divisions. “MMA will move into branded entertainment,” Lynch said.