When it was announced Shine Fights would be moving their September 10th lightweight grand prix from Virginia to Oklahoma in relation to an inability to get licensed in the State fans may have found themselves wondering why one athletic commission would approve an event another had rejected.
As it turns out, they haven’t.
The Oklahoma State Athletic Commission’s chief executive, Joe Miller, recently spoke with MMAFighting to clarify the organization he heads has no involvement with the show and that he personally has “some major concerns” about the upcoming show.
“My number one concern is the health and safety of the fighters. There have been events where the fighters were not paid and there was no one there to ensure that they get paid. But my major concern is the health of the fighters,” he explained. “I know of situations where a fighter was knocked out, knocked unconscious, and allowed to fight five days later. The problem I have with that is if a fighter is knocked out, it’s mandated under our rules and the Association of Boxing Commissions rules that they take a certain amount of time off. Thirty or 45 or 60 days is normal because if a fighter is knocked out there’s a possibility that he has a subdural hematoma — bleeding on the brain — and there’s the possibility that if he gets hit again there could be serious medical problems.”
Because Shine Fights’ eight-man tournament will occur at a casino on land owned by the Otoe-Missouria Tribe the State’s regulatory board has no influence over how it is conducted or what procedures/protections have been put in place.
“In Oklahoma we have a large number of tribal trust lands. The state of Oklahoma has absolutely no authority to regulate on those particular pieces of land. In boxing it’s a little different because federal law mandates that boxing be regulated by a commission, but Mixed Martial Arts has no such law,” said Miller.
However, just because the OSAC cannot regulate the event does not mean they won’t be paying attention this Friday night. According to Miller, any fighter participating in an “unsanctioned” show will face a sixty-day ban from competing in Oklahoma. While the punishment won’t serve as an official suspension and may not be honored in other locations, Miller hopes it will still send a strong message to all the involved parties.
“If that doesn’t impact you, then you need to ask, is this a reputable organization? Are you going to receive your money? Is there going to be a doctor at ringside? Will an ambulance be on site? Do you have a contract with them that everybody has signed that lays out exactly what will happen?”
Shine Fights’ lightweight tournament involves eight fighters competing over three stages in an elimination-style format. The athletes currently scheduled for the card are Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, Marcus Aurelio, , Drew Fickett, James Warfield, Kyle Baker, Carlo Prater, Dennis Bermudez, and Richard Crunkilton. The event will be available on PPV for $29.99.
The announced first-round pairings are as follows:
Charles Bennett vs. Drew Fickett
Rich Crunkilton vs. Carlo Prater
James Warfield vs. Kyle Baker
Marcus Aurelio vs. Dennis Bermudez