19 Apr 2013 08:14:56 AM
By George Shunick
Matt Mitrione’s recent controversy isn’t the first time a fighter has opened his (or her) mouth and said something stupid. It’s also not the first time a fighter has been punished by Zuffa for doing so. Due to the seemingly arbitrary manner in which punishments were handed out, and the ambiguous definition of offenses deemed unacceptable, there has long been a need for a basic code of conduct for UFC employees and athletes.
This was finally realized earlier this year, and the new code of conduct was made public one week ago. In fact, it’s been used by UFC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein as a means of persuading the New York State assembly to recognize MMA as a legitimate sport, and the UFC as a legitimate organization on par with the NFL and MLB. But while it marks a progressive effort on the part of the UFC in establishing ethical guidelines for fighters, it’s still prone to the same criticisms of favoritism that the UFC has endured due to its past disciplinary discrepancies.
The first section of the code of conduct regards criminal offenses; specifically, “the use or threat of violence,” “domestic violence,” “theft,” “sex offenses,” “obstruction or resisting arrest,” “disorderly conduct,” “fraud,” “racketeering,” and “money laundering.” Most of these should be pretty obvious offenses. What is less clear, however, is whether or not a fighter has to be convicted of these offenses to be punished for them.Read More ADD COMMENTS (7) DIGG THIS