Legal snags pose threat to status of UFC on Fox Sports 1 1 card in Boston

Joe Scarnici

Boston's UFC on FS1 1 card could be in trouble with Massachusetts requiring that all foreign fighters to have Social Security numbers, something the UFC is attempting to find a way around.

The UFC's plans to return to Boston look like they may have hit a snag right before tickets go on sale for the August 17 event. That card (UFC on FS1 1) has a planned main event of Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio Rua with Alistair Overeem taking on Travis Browne in the co-main event.

Rua and Overeem's position on the card could be an issue considering that the government is not planning to allow the UFC to have foreign fighters on the card without Social Security numbers.

Boston Herald has the story:

“This law has been in existence since we legalized mixed martial arts in the commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said Terrell Harris, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, which regulates prize fighting.

“It’s been brought to the attention of the UFC more than a few times since we legalized the fighting here. But they’ve chosen basically to ignore the law and hope that they could skirt it somehow,” Harris said.

...

Harris said the UFC has petitioned the state for a one-time exception to allow foreign fighters to square off at the Aug. 17 Garden event — with or without a valid Social Security number. But state law is clear that officials are prohibited from issuing an MMA license to any fighter without proper documentation.

“They’ve approached us and asked us if we could make exceptions to the 
law for them,” Harris 
said.

“But the law is the law. The law doesn’t allow us to make exceptions.”

The story says that fighters can apply for temporary SSNs after a ten day grace period. Of course, that is going to drastically change the UFC and fighter schedules along with not being a "sure thing" that every fighter will be given a temporary without any sort of snag.

The article does go on to say that House Speaker Robert F. DeLeo wants the UFC to work with lawmakers to figure out a solution. Given that there is an estimated $50 million to be made for the city, it seems like the kind of thing that can be worked out.

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