Last month, ESPN revealed that former MMA fighter and current Oklahoma representative Markwayne Mullin was pushing to introduce an amendment to the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act of 2000 that would put MMA under its umbrella. The attempt is a controversial one, as many of the issues that the act deals with don’t really exist in MMA, and MMA fans know first hand how poorly rules and regulations from boxing work when ported into a different sport. The much-reviled 10-point must system for judging and inadequate eye poke rules come to mind.
But with support for the amendment growing in Congress, the UFC has taken steps to fight it. According to PR website O’Dwyters, it has hired Washington D.C. firm Farragut Partners to “communicate with Congress its position on the Muhammad Ali Act.” This isn’t the UFC’s first experience with lobbying, as the company spent over $2 million working to get the ban on MMA lifted in New York state.
So what exactly is in the Ali act? It prevents promoters from managing fighters and demands that promoters divulge the amount of money they’re making to those on their cards. It also requires third party sanctioning bodies to determine fighter rankings and who gets title fights. Last but not least, it sets a limit on all fighter contracts to one year.