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Oklahoma Bans MMA: The Time to Riot is Now

(We hear you there, bro.) 

In a move that is sure to upset hundreds of thousands of dozens of people, the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission, and specifically its Executive Director Joe Miller, recently issued the following statement to promoters statewide that has more or less banned MMA from the land of fried okra:

The purpose of this letter is to inform you the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission will not be accepting applications for event permits for events scheduled after March 31, 2012. The Commission is faced with an out-of-state threat that, if successful, could greatly affect the Commission’s ability to provide for the public safety and for the health and safety of the athletes for future events throughout the state of Oklahoma. The Commission is currently trying to address legal and legislative efforts which have given us serious concerns about how we move forward with adequate oversight of Oklahoma’s boxing, mixed martial arts, and professional wrestling events. As you know, the primary focus of this agency is to make sure the athlete’s health, and safety is not compromised. We take this charge very seriously. The Commission and I will be working diligently to address these issues and develop a plan of action to return to a normal course of business.

Now why, pray tell, do you think Oklahoma would do this to us? Here’s a hint: Dana M.F. White.

Turns out, Oklahoma was imposing a four percent tax on all UFC pay-per-views purchased within the state. Whether or not the events themselves were actually held in Oklahoma did not change this fact. Though you would expect Dana White to be pissed upon hearing of this, the money itself was used to help fund the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission, similar to how Wyoming is planning to fund the first ever MMA-only commission. As Miller explained:

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.

Seems understandable in the broader spectrum of things, right? Sure, it’s money out of the UFC’s pocket, and sure, they really don’t visit Oklahoma enough to need a lot of pull there (they’ve visited just twice in their existence, UFC 4 in Dedember of ’94 and UFN 16 in Sept. of 2009), but its money that allows the sport to legally exist in the state.

Well, apparently that sentiment wasn’t enough to make DW’s cold, dead heart grow three sizes that day, as it seems the Zuffa brass has decided to sue the Commission in order to get what they want, ie. that bread. You know, similar to what they’re doing with New York.

I may be in the minority here, but the UFC’s long running policy of “We’ll fuck you harder than you’ve ever been fucked before” (just quoting here) could really bite them in the ass in the near future. Let’s face it, a LOT of state governments are strapped for cash right now. The high school I attended, for instance, is eliminating all sports from its program next year due to a lack of state funding. Insane right? And if a state requires a multi-billion dollar company like Zuffa to fork over a minuscule percentage of their PPV earnings to help fund the committee that helps oversee the sport’s safety, it’s truly in the better interest of the sport, is it not? It’s not like the government is taking this money to buy another G5 for their fleet or anything. Until we find out that they are, of course, because we all know politicians are nothing more than swindlers in fancy suits.

It’s a give and take world is all we’re saying. The UFC provides millions of dollars in revenues to the states it chooses to hold its events in, and in turn the states provide a broader audience for the sport’s (not to mention the UFC’s) continued growth. And if a state decides to ban the sport, it all but kills the hopes of local fighters with upper-tier potential to compete in the sport they love, because not everyone can afford to travel out of state for each given fight.

In either case, the push for nationwide legalization of MMA just took a small, but noticeable step back.

Speaking of MMA legalization, check out this great bit of pro New York MMA propoganda created by FoxNews contributor (take it easy) Steven Crowder. The video, which features interviews with Pat Militech, Chael Sonnen and Renzo Gracie among others, lays out the history, safety, and the potential economic impact of MMA in a state like NY, as well as debunks the myths laid about by long time NY Assemblyman, Bob Reilly.

It’s times like these that we really, truly appreciate Chael Sonnen. Sure, the Brazil jokes and general xenophobia are funny in their own right, but when Chael actually removes the pro wrestling facade for a little and speaks his heart on an issue, it’s hard to disagree with the guy. Especially considering the fact that he knows first hand the pitfalls of greed politics.

Like Crowder said, if you’re a fan of freedom, forward this video along and contact your local representative. And if that doesn’t work, we take Tulsa. And after that, we’re taking Topeka. Why? FUCK IT, THAT’S WHY.


-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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MMA-Psychopath-USA- July 19, 2012 at 10:36 am
MMA Sports has absolutely NOTHING to do with Martial Arts. It's amazing how the Fallacy continues since the Gracies coined the term in 1993 with the egoist Gracie Challenge. Do you know the UFC is Mafia owned? and in addition the USA government is taking money from the Mafia in the states that allow MMA cage fighting? corrupt government - you better believe it. The worst part is MMA fighting (not Martial arts) creates psychopathy in practitioners and also 80 percent of the fan base! Thats a fact! sooo... lets continue to allow the corrupt gvernment to take blood money from the Mafia, line their own degenerate pockets and lie to the good US citizens saying the sport doesn't create mental illness. it's called PROPAGANDA and the MMA fighters all know very well about Hitler and also the Roman gladiators. they worship and promote the evil.
Alan K- March 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm
I thought state sanctioning and making sure all fans can watch and take part in the sport was more important than money for Zuffa, but I guess that was before they were turning a profit.
jozseffrd- March 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm
This is a comment about the video above"Legalize NY MMA!Well I'm totally for MMA but I also understand the NY State Legislature that they want to get the Union involved,coz I do wanna see MMA Fighters have a decent Union coz the're under payed especially now when they only have 2-3 fight a year.I mean on a UFC Event the Preliminary fighters only get between 5-25 thousands per fight and that is just ridiculous.Even the highest payed fighters like GSP,Anderson Silva make 10-15 times more on Advertisements then their UFC Salaries!A top heavy weight Boxer make 20-25 million on one fight A top UFC fighter makes 200thousand That's a fucking Joke!!!
JoAnna- March 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm
Unbelievable. MMA is taking over the sports world. BIG money maker. I guess they would rather prance around on stage in costumes. As long as I can get my MMA fights elsewhere, OK can stay safe. sheesh....
debuishi- March 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm
Im with the UFC on this one. Mainly because what if other states wanted a "miniscule" 4 percent once the precedent has been set in OK? It would really start to add up.
AndyInflammatory- March 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm
There's a 20% Leaving Town tax - Clancy Wiggum.
Omelette Platter- March 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm
i'm with everyone else who thinks it'd be nice to have some clarification on how this "tax" is assessed. but yeah, if it's actually coming out of the sixty bucks paid, and so the state is taking money from the ufc, then i totally understand why they'd wanna nip that in the bud. the last thing dana and crew would want is every other state getting the idea that they can tax his company to help pay for something he's not even using that much (twice ever) AND that they're already paying to use when they're there - the commission mouthpiece says they collect revenue from license fees and live event fees. and so now they think that the promoter should pay them for broadcasting video of an event that doesn't require anything of them what-so-ever? it's just tax for the sake of a tax.

then again, if it just turns your $59.99 ppv bill into $62.50, dana needs to go fuck a speeding car. it's still a lame tax, but at least it lets the buyer know that the state government fucking hates you.
RwilsonR- March 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm
Seems like a bit of a rush to judgement to blame the UFC for this. I'm not a sales tax law expert, but the UFC could be well within their rights to not collect or pay the state sales taxes for events that do not take place within that state under federal nexus laws, similar to internet purchases. Also, did anyone bother to question WHY it costs OK that much to run their commission and regulate sports? Before I blame the UFC for stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime, let's make certain this isn't some bloated bureaucrat trying to justify his existence by extorting a little extra cash put of either a corporation or the state legislature. At this point, these numbers and these statements don't tell us much about who is to blame.
J-Dog- March 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm
OK, so it's like an extra sales tax for PPVs. I get that. In my state, there's an extra 1% restaurant tax, above and beyond the normal sales tax. Does the UFC pay the tax, or the consumer? Either way, it seems counterintuitive for the UFC to go nuts over it. If the UFC is paying this tax, then I guess they could just not broadcast PPVs to OK. But getting 96% of a lot of money is a lot better than getting 100% of no money. Unless their profit margin is less than 4%, which I'm sure it isn't, it doesn't make sense to rock that boat to me.
J. Jones- March 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm
I agree with you on your second comment. But for the record, you won't see me praising Sonnen a lot, because for the most part, I can't stand the guy. He just happens to make a few good points in the video is all.
@Dead Cow: You know it, brother.
The_Dead_Cow- March 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm
@JJones; As long as we're sponsored by smores schnapps, I'm in.
shatterproof- March 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm
that is to say, there are far better spokesmen for the sport than fraudsters and criminals. Quit feeding the attention whore.
Viva Hate- March 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm
Well guys, it is time to organize, they took our jobs!
Sloppyspray- March 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm
So is this tax money taken from the UFC? if so then y don't they just make the $60.00 PPV cost $62.40 if you're from OK, this way UFC gets their $60 and Joklahoma can get their $2.40 per PPV.
shatterproof- March 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm
Damn, if ever there were something latched to Sonnen's balls... it's the CP.
Fried Taco- March 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm
Damn you Obama! It's all your fault!