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Regulations / UFC

UFC and USADA Release New Anti-Doping Policies

The UFC has changed the USADA drug testing process for a fighter entering into the UFC after willingly leaving.  Previously, a fighter only had to be part of a drug testing pool for four months leading up to a fight.  The new rule now states that a fighter must be in the drug testing pool for at least six months.  There is still an exception to this rule.  The exception can be applied by the UFC for, “exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an athlete.”

Athletes who willingly left the UFC, for professional reasons or retirement, will have to wait the full six months.  Athletes who did not leave the UFC by choice or are entering their first UFC fight only need to be in the pool for a month.  Jeff Novitzky, UFC VP of athlete health and performance told MMA Fighting:

“The majority of these changes are athlete driven.  Early on in this, we knew there had to be a balancing act between the strength and comprehensiveness of the program and the fairness to the athlete. Over the year and half, this program has been in existence, we have consistently encouraged feedback from fighters and camps about how to make this program stronger, more comprehensive and, just as importantly, fairer to the athletes. All of these changes are a result of that interaction and feedback from athletes and camps.”

The timeline for when fighters are in competition has now been defined as beginning at noon the day prior to the fight and ending once the fighter has taken his post-fight drug test.  Nate Diaz forced a clear definition after he said he was using cannabidiol oil at a post-fight press conference.

One other policy change is that a fighter who is appealing a ruling has a conference call with an arbitrator rather than having an evidentiary hearing.

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Boxing / Finance / Regulations / Sports Law / UFC

Transparency Leads To Higher Fighter Pay

John S. Nash at Bloody Elbow did a great write-up titled “Why do boxers make more than MMA fighters?”  The very thorough article interviews multiple managers, fighters, and business figures in the combat sport landscape.

Fights like Mayweather-Pacquiao, where both fighters made a few hundred million dollars, can skew the data.  MMA fighters have a much higher floor pricing, with many UFC prelim fighters making $10,000 compared to boxers who sometimes only make $1,500.  The median payout for boxing and MMA fighters still favored boxers:

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Regulations / Sports Law

Daily Fantasy Sports Open For Business In New York

The five leading companies in daily fantasy sports have been issued temporary permits to run daily fantasy sports contests in the state of New York.  Earlier this month Governor Cuomo signed a bill that legalizes daily fantasy sports providers but places them under regulation from the state.  The new law states that daily fantasy sports are mostly a game of skill.  The five sites allowed to operate daily fantasy sports in the state are DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo, FantasyDraft, and Draft.

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Rio Olympic Boxing First Without Head Guards

Men’s amateur boxing at the Rio Olympics will be the have the first matches without head guards since 1984.  In 1984 some of the boxing matches appeared to be somewhat brutal and increased the perceived violence in the sport.  As a result, head guards were added to all amateur boxing matches at the Summer Olympics.  Leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio the International Boxing Association (AIBA) voted to remove head guards from competition.  The AIBA argued that the head guards were not preventing the scenarios that they were designed to stop and might encourage more dangerous fighting.

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MMA Unified Rules Could Splinter Regulations

The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) has voted to change multiple rules on issues such as what constitutes a grounded fighter, penalties against having an open hand with extended fingers, and redefining what clothes female fighters can wear during fights.  There is a real threat the the MMA unified rules could splinter into an alphabet soup of state regulations.

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