MMA Bill AB 2100 aims to establish a pension for mixed martial artists in California and to ostensibly protect them from being taken advantage of by promoters.
While it sounds good on the surface, several fighters are concerned about having a third party (the California State Athletic Commission) look over their contracts to deem them non-detrimental to the fighter. Promoters also take issue with the bill
Zuffa’s new PR darling, Ronda Rousey, joined the likes of Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, Marc Ratner and Lawrence Epstein in protesting the bill at a hearing before the California State Assebmly.
Check out the text for the bill below, and see if you get as frustrated as I did trying to decipher the legalese.
Existing law, the State Athletic Commission Act, creates the State Athletic Commission and makes it responsible for licensing and regulating boxing, kickboxing, and martial arts matches and wrestling exhibitions. Existing law prohibits a promoter from having a proprietary interest in a boxer or mixed martial arts fighter without the approval of the commission. Existing law creates the continuously appropriated Boxers’ Pension Fund and requires the commission to establish a pension plan for boxers and to deposit the moneys collected by the pension plan into the fund.
This bill would require a promoter to provide specified written and sworn statements regarding his or her financial interests to the commission before the promoter can receive compensation from a boxing or mixed martial arts contest. By requiring a statement to be made under penalty of perjury, the bill would expand that crime and would thereby impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also require the commission to revoke or refuse to renew the license of a mixed martial arts promoter who enters into a coercive contract, as defined, with a mixed martial arts fighter, who has been convicted of a felony or a gross misdemeanor, or who has been subject to specified law enforcement actions, investigations, or allegations. This bill would require the commission to establish a professional code of conduct for licensees. This bill would also extend the scope of the Boxers’ Pension Plan to include professional mixed martial arts fighters and would rename the fund as the Boxers’ and Mixed Martial Arts Fighters’ Pension Fund. By providing for new moneys to be deposited in a continuously appropriated fund, the bill would make an appropriation.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.