As MMA is nearly legal in every state, one state is halting all combat sports from being approved within the state. Effective right now the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission has halted approving event permits for all combative sports (MMA, Boxing, etc.) the Commission regulates for events after March 31st, this according to the Director of Oklahoma State Athletic Commission, Joe Miller who talked with MMAValor regarding the matter.
It should be noted that there is one boxing event scheduled for April 7th 2012 but that was approved only because they requested and were approved prior to the issues that have arisen.
Those issues are money, or better yet the lack thereof. But there is a little more to this story than the Commission not having any money. The UFC has threatened the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission with legal action against the states Pay-per-view law, which has been in effect since 2004. The law means the promoter most pay the Commission based off receipts from their PPV, which according to Miller is approx. $80k per year from the UFC.
Without this tax the commission would no longer have the funds to operate. In an email to MMAValor, Miller laid it out thus:
“It takes approximately $360K for the Commission to provide regulation for the approximately 275 events per year we regulate. The Oklahoma State Athletic Commission does not receive any state funding. We are funded solely from license fees, assessment on live events, and an assessment on pay-per-view events. We receive approximately $137K per year through license fees and assessments on live events. Receipts from Pay-per-view are approximately $240K per year. About $80K per year comes from UFC PPV. The UFC has threatened a law suit against our PPV law unless our legislature repeals our PPV law during this legislative session. The Commission loses either way. OK has been collecting on PPV since 2004 and this is the first time the issue has been brought to light. For the Oklahoma Commission to survive and for Combat Sports to continue in Oklahoma it will be up to the Oklahoma legislature to come up with a solution to the funding shortfall. You can do the math.”
What do you guys think?
The Commission sent a letter out to local promoters, below is a copy: