Help out Georgia’s MMA save the mma in georgia

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    Chad Moechnig
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    FightingFury44
    Post subject: Help out Georgia’s MMA save the mma in georgia PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:13 pm

    Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:16 am
    Posts: 325
    Location: Texas
    As many of you (In Georgia, USA) already know, the sport of MMA faces a crisis in the state of Georgia. The issue at hand is proposed legislation titled SB224. This bill has already passed through the GA Senate, largely due to the fact that many in the GA MMA community were unaware of the bill prior to its Senate passage. The bill is now coming up for discussion and a possible vote in the GA House of Representatives.
    What many of you may not know is that this bill has the potential to affect the sport of MMA across the country.

    When most people think of MMA in the US, they think of the UFC. What many people do not know is that this high-profile promotion only represents a fraction of one percent of the athletes who engage in and support the sport of MMA.
    The vast majority of MMA athletes and sportsmen fight in small, grass-roots shows throughout the United States. These shows are the only venue in which an amateur or little-known professional fighter will likely ever compete. Often turning little or no profit, these shows are supported by legions of loyal fans and promoted for only one reason—for the love of the sport of MMA.
    The state of Georgia has long been a national leader in the promotion and development of the sport of MMA. Georgia hosted one of the earliest UFCs, as well as other large promotions like the WEF, the RSF, Shidokan and the WEFC. But have you ever heard of the Gauntlet Trials? The Cagefighter Championships? The Fight Party? The Throwdown in V-Town? Winter Wars? Fall Brawl? Compound Fracture? The Submission Fighting Open? All of these promotions and more take place right here in the state of Georgia. Fighters from all over the country travel to GA—often at their own expense—just for the chance to participate in this great sport of MMA. Indeed, some have even gone so far as to call GA an “MMA Mecca” for the sheer number of shows promoted here very year.

    SB224 spells the death of this vibrant MMA scene in GA, and establishes a solid precedent for the death of the MMA community in many other states should their legislators choose to follow in Georgia’s footsteps.
    The main purpose of SB224 is to hand full control of MMA in GA to the GA Athletic Commission. While AC involvement may not sound like a negative on the face of things, the fact is that the proposed bill will serve only to line the pockets of the AC while crushing the vibrant MMA community here in Georgia.
    What a lot of fans do not realize is that many MMA shows make very little money. In fact, many MMA promotions actually LOSE money when all of the accounting is said and done. These promotions barely squeak by, financially speaking, and the losses are absorbed by dedicated individuals who give up personal assets to promote the sport.

    Under SB224, every sanctioning body will have to pay a $1000 annual fee to the AC. This fee will naturally be passed onto the promoters. But the fees don’t end there. Each promoter will have to pay a $500 annual fee just to promote! Each promoter will also have to pay the sanctioning bodies for the right to be sanctioned, for referees and judges, and for event representatives to watch over each promotion. Under SB224, the AC has the right to demand that AC representatives also be present at cost to the promoter. Sounds costly? Well now add in the “per-bout” fees that the AC can charge under the bill. Will the fees ever end? Not quite yet! Promoters are also required to pay the AC a fee of 5% of GROSS receipts from the promotion, up to a maximum of $40,000!

    If any of you have worked with a small promotion or even owned a small business, you know how hard it is to turn a profit. Overhead, labor costs, taxes, insurance, cleanup, concessions, etc. leave little or nothing left to profit. Often the margin is in the low single digits. If further reduced by these proposed fees, the cost becomes outrageous.
    SB224 will create a climate where only the independently wealthy will be able to promote.

    Proponents of SB224 have argued that AC involvement will prevent corruption in promoting MMA. Yet certain GA MMA promoters have e-mails from the boxing commission indicating that those who oppose this bill will have a very difficult time trying to promote once it passes. Furthermore, I have been told that one promoter close the AC has even bragged that his fees will be waived if the bill passes. And this is the way they stop corruption?

    There has also been much ado about the proposed “10-year felon ban” clause in the bill. Proponents of the bill try to frame the issue so that they can smear anyone against the bill as being “pro-felon.” This is a straw-man argument. In point of fact, no one who has promoted MMA in GA within the past year would be hindered by this clause. This clause is just one more tool that those in favor of SB224 can use to distract concerned citizens from the real issues.

    The solution is not to amend SB224, or to turn a blind eye to its passing. The very sport of MMA may indeed rest on the passage or failure of this bill. SB224 does not need to go any further than it has already gone. The destruction of MMA in GA would be a crippling blow to the sport as a whole.
    I have been informed that the bill is currently under review by GA congressman Earl Erhart. Rep. Erhart (eaeh@facilitygroup.com) sits on several powerful committees and has the power to stop this bill in its tracks. Today I urge you to e-mail congressman Erhart and let your voice be heard. Do not stand by while our sport is destroyed by the powerful “old boys” network of connected promoters, politicians, and commissioners. Please e-mail Congressman Erhart (eaeh@facilitygroup.com) right now.

    If you are unsure of what to write, you may copy the following e-mail, or use it as a starting point.

    ____________________

    Dear Representative Erhart,
    Please vote AGAINST SB224. SB224 will cripple or destroy the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in Georgia, and also stands to hinder many other combat sports affected by the broad language of this bill. The fee structures proposed by SB224 will eliminate many if not all of the current martial sport promotions in the state of Georgia. Georgia has long been a national leader in martial sport. SB224 will serve to eliminate this position of leadership, and relegate Georgians to the role of spectators in the sports they love and support. In these days of tight budgets and excessive regulation, the last thing Georgia taxpayers want or need is bigger and more invasive government. Please do your part to keep this state a national leader in martial sports.
    Respectfully,

    ❗ :!:The above can be e-mailed to: eaeh@facilitygroup.com ❗ ❗

    http://www.fightergirls.com

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    Mark Grassman
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:59 pm
    Fightergirls elite poster

    Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 1:18 pm
    Posts: 1011
    Location: Evansville, Indiana USA
    It would really suck if such a bill passed in Indiana.

    Gives new meaning to the phrase Kill Bill SB224 that is.

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    Hook
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 10:11 am

    Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:22 pm
    Posts: 131
    Location: Owensboro, KY
    Man this sucks. GA ecspecially Atalanta has grown in MA in the last few years. Taking away MMA would be a terrible blow to the MMA world.

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