Updates on Amateur Regulations Starting 10/1/2015

by Felix Falcon

As promised in our previous report highlighting the remaining questions and concerns around the impending October first deadline for the implementation of a new law passed earlier this year, we are following up with as much information as we have been able to gather.

DPOR, the State’s regulatory body for professional Boxing and MMA, has been tasked by this new legislation to approve qualified sanctioning organizations that meet the minimum requirements as written into the law. This is the first time that the State will be in charge of regulating the local amateur MMA and Boxing markets.

A new FAQ has been put out on their website in an attempt to clarify misconceptions as to who is allowed to apply for approval.

The new messaging clearly states that applying sanctioning bodies do not have to be from Virginia. They only need to meet the State’s law requirement to be approved to sanction amateur events.

The biggest change, however, is an update on how DPOR is interpreting one of the more controversial sections of the law. The key sticking point in the legislation reads “[the sanctioning organization] provides evidence that none of its officers, employees, or agents, directly or indirectly, have any pecuniary interest in, or hold any position with, any business associated with a licensee.” A licensee by the definition of the terms in the same law pertains to “...any person arranging, conducting or participating in boxing, martial arts, or professional wrestling activities…”

DPOR, for the purposes of applying Sanctioning bodies, will interpret the part of the application that pertains to that section of the law (question 11) to mean that an applying sanctioning organization does not have any business ties or financial interests only to a Boxing/MMA promoter. This interpretation, per DPOR, has been made in good faith to try and accommodate what is, evidently, the intent of some of the bill’s proponents, although they are still bound legally by what the law states.

As far as some of the remaining questions from our previous article, we’ve learned that amateur fighters will not have to apply for a license through DPOR. DPOR’s sole objective is to approve sanctioning organizations, who in turn will make the call as to which athletes will qualify and be fit to participate at an event.

We still have no word on whether, if multiple sanctioning organizations are approved, there will be any way they will have access to each other’s information regarding suspended fighters.

Again, we will continue to monitor the situation, and report back as soon as possible. If there are still any questions or concerns that you might have, please share them in the comment section below.