James Lee Offerman, chairman of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) announced on Thursday morning that under the urging of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Government is expected to pass a bill in 2015 which will make all Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition illegal in all 50 states.
“Under urging from the Obama administration and the DHHS, researchers and medical experts have studied diligently the last few years to investigate the dangers of MMA competition. The results complied have proven that the sport is far too dangerous to go forward in the United States. A decision we, the ABC, have ultimately approved.” said Offerman.
There have been four MMA related deaths since 2007, the latest being Booto Guylain, a Congolese fighter who died on March 5, 2014 following complications resulting from a head injury experienced during an MMA bout. It was the death of Tyrone Mimms, who died in South Carolina in 2012 following a MMA match, that prompted the Obama Administration to initially investigate the dangers of the extremely popular sport. After two years of studies and research, studies revealed that the most alarming statistic were to fighters who have suffered permanent brain damage during sparring and matches. The numbers were not released by the Department of Health and Human Services, just that the compilation of results were “beyond alarming.”
“The high-profile of modern MMA promotions such as UFC and Pride has fostered an accelerated development of the sport making it more and more dangerous in a short amount of time,” says sports medicine expert and neurosurgeon Dr. Zumbaka Ulygeno. “I have seen an alarming amount of life changing brain injuries in the past three years due to the sport of mixed martial arts, while it is exciting and is big business in the United States, it needs to be brought to an end.”
Dana White, President of MMA giant organization UFC was reportedly extremely angry about the reports, as well as the secretive nature of the investigation by the White House.
“This is ridiculous. You don’t see them trying to shut down the sport of football, and the last time I checked, even high school kids are killed almost every year playing. We will fight this,” said White. “This is just another attempt by the Obama Administration to rip another piece of freedom from the American public. We won’t stand for it. If we let them take this away from us, what’s next? Boxing? Baseball? Fried chicken? This is disturbing and infuriating to say the least.”
According to Offerman the ban has absolutely nothing to do with politics.
“We are here to protect the American public, and this is exactly what we are trying to do. Anyone blaming the Obama administration needs to look at the big picture,” explained Offerman during a press conference in Las Vegas. “The sport has run its course, the fighters are getting stronger and more dangerous, yet there is no superstar. It seems that the risk involved should no longer worth it to those who oversee the sport, and there is no shame in waving the white flag in surrender.”
“You clearly have not heard the last from MMA supporters, fighters, promoters, and the crazed, uninformed cult that follows our barbaric sport,” said White. “We need to stand up for the right to observe organized, violent sporting events. It’s what makes this country perfect in every way.”