For the first time since a new state law took effect July 1, the Iowa labor commissioner has halted a mixed martial arts because the promoters failed to comply with new state regulations.
Iowa Labor Commissioner David Neil issued a cease and desist order last week to Midwest Fighting Championships regarding a fight scheduled to be held in Bloomfield last Friday.
Iowa law now requires promoters to submit fighter blood work, show proof of medical insurance, submit fighter contracts and ensure that all fighters -- professional or amateur -- are 18 years of age or older.
State lawmakers last session voted to bring amateur MMA bouts under the same licensing and regulatory framework as professional boxing and ultimate fighting matches. Backers said the changes, which were signed into law by Gov. Chet Culver last spring, were necessitated out of safety concerns after the commissioner’s office reported evidence of amateur participants were getting hurt, being paid “under the table,” fighting under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not being treated for hepatitis or HIV/AIDS, and fighting again too soon after being knocked unconscious.