A Minnesota company that had scheduled a mixed martial arts event last weekend in southern Iowa was ordered by the state to cancel it.
The Davis County Sheriff delivered a “cease and desist order” to the promoter of the “Midwest Fighting Championships” event scheduled in Bloomfield last Friday. Kerry Koonce of Iowa Workforce Development says the order came from the Iowa Labor Commissioner who also serves as Iowa’s Athletic Commissioner. As of July 1st, amateur mixed martial arts bouts are subject to new state regulations.
“One is submitting fighter blood work and that’s to make sure that there aren’t any communicable diseases that can be passed. They have to have proof of medical insurance for their fighters and then submit fighter contracts so everything is above board and then all fighters have to be 18 years of age or older,” Koonce says. “There was a fight scheduled to take place in Davis County in Bloomfield…and we don’t have the information that’s required in certain time frames by law.”
The Minnesota company requested a state license to hold M.M.A. bouts in Iowa, but didn’t file the additional paperwork that’s required. Koonce says if company officials had gone ahead with the event last Friday, they would have faced a big fine. “As of July 1, that’s subject to a $10,000 administrative fine and it can be punishable…as a serious misdemeanor,” Koonce says.
State officials have so far issued 37 licenses to companies that planned to host mixed martial arts fights in Iowa. Koonce says those companies have been “cooperative” because they want to have “clean” events.
“But when you have promoters that try to skirt the law and not follow it, they’re endangering not only their fighters but, potentially, the spectators and they’re causing potential costs for Iowa taxpayers. If they don’t have health insurance on their fighters and those individuals go to the emergency room, which is a frequent event following these fights, then the taxpayer is going to be responsible for picking up that tab,” Koonce says. “And so that’s not fair to everyone across the state or to the promoters who are doing it correctly.”
Koonce says you should be wary of mixed martial arts events that don’t seem to follow these new guidelines. “If you’re there and you notice there’s not medical staff on the premises…that’s probably not a sanctioned fight and it’s probably not something you want to be involved in,” she says.
The Midwest Fighting Championships’ Facebook page announced at 2:26 p.m. on Friday that the fights that night in Bloomfield were canceled, adding “if anyone thinks they can run a show better, go ahead and do it.” Several of those who posted comments criticized the state action. Some used explicit language to express their outrage, while another commenter urged fellow mixed martial arts fans to “quit acting like the world is coming to…an end” because of the canceled show.