State of CA soon to have final authority over fighter licensing

The growth of MMA has spurred two big changes within itself over the last few years. The first being is the new found wealth and fame it has brought to many of the upper tier of athletes involved in the sport. The second being the irresponsibility that fame and big piles of money seem to bring to most modern athletes participating at the top end of any professional sport. Whether it’s the NFL, NBA or the UFC athletes seem to fall into the same trap of not taking care of things like the mortgage, car payments, properly investing their wealth for retirement or remembering to pay their taxes. Well uncle sam has taken notice that his cut seems to be coming up short and has put the MMA world on notice or at least here in California he has.


Effective July 1, 2012, the California State Athletic Commission is required to deny an application for licensure and to suspend the license/certificate/registration of any applicant or licensee who has outstanding tax obligations due to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or the State Board of Equalization (BOE) and appears on either the FTB or BOE's certified lists of top 500 tax delinquencies over $100,000. (AB 1424, Perea, Chapter 455, Statutes of 2011)

Once it has been determined that an applicant or a licensee is on a certified list, the applicant or licensee has 90 days from the issuance of a preliminary notice of suspension to either satisfy all outstanding tax obligations or enter into a payment installment program with the FTB or BOE. Any such person who fails to come into compliance will have his/her license denied or suspended until the California State Athletic Commission receives a release from the FTB or BOE. The form for requesting a release will be included with the preliminary notice of suspension.

The law prohibits the California State Athletic Commission from refunding any money paid for the issuance or renewal of a license where the license is denied or suspended as required by AB 1424.

The CSAC issues licenses to all professional combat athletes which also includes Boxing and Kickboxing. But here’s where it gets interesting, the athletic commission also provides all licenses to the numerous people behind the scenes that make the show run.



Time keeper

Ringside physician

Secondary (Corner)



We all know many fighters also moonlight as promoters and corner men for their students and teammates. The same can be said for many trainers. Can you imagine a promoter having his licensed pulled weeks or even days before an event? The implications would be massive, a fighter just needs to be replaced or a fight moved up on the card. But what if Terry Trebilock has his license pulled can Tedd Williams step in and save the show? I think the biggest issue we are going to see when the law takes effect is fighters not being able to do what they need to do in order pay the lien on their license. They fight for a living so if they can’t work they can’t pay the debt they owe, it’s a catch 22. How long till we see fighters going overseas to avoid the indefinite suspensions handed out by the athletic commission on behalf of good ol’ uncle sam?

Jason Burum

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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