Update August 2, 2022 – As of this morning the letter has grown to over 215 names. At the bottom of the article is the latest list of all fighters backing this initiative who signed the open letter to the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports asking for fighters to have a seat at the regulatory table.
Members of the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (“ABC”) meet annually to oversee combat sports regulation. Fulfilling an important role in professional boxing, MMA, Bare Knuckle Boxing and other full contact combat disciplines. Issues such as anti-doping, the unified rules of boxing, the unified rules of MMA, best practices in ringside medicine and more are canvassed by the body.
All US States and Tribal Commissions have a welcome seat at the table. Canadian commissions and other nations are also present extending the ABC’s influence beyond the US with the international combat sports community keeping a close eye on the ABC’s lead. The ABC has committees to better serve the needs of those they regulate including a medical committee, an appeals committee, and officials committee and more.
Notably absent is a fighters committee. Everyone has a seat at the table except for the fighters themselves.
This week fighters are taking action looking to change this oversight. After a proposal was made to ABC President Michael Mazzulli to create a fighter’s committee over 130 fighters, in just 24 hours, signed an open letter asking for this to be done. In the world of organizing fighters this is, quite frankly, unprecedented speed and solidarity. Rose Gracie and Carla Duran, through their charitable organization “Fighting Foundation“, were instrumental in this massive signature drive. (Full disclosure, I am the Regulatory Advisor to the Foundation and proudly involved in its efforts!)
Mazzulli responded that this is a ‘great idea’ and is actively in discussions to move this project forward.
Although not scientific, a quick twitter poll shows the public is overwhelmingly on side of Mazzulli’s assessment of the merit of this idea.
The petition the fighters signed was simple and straight forward reading as follows:
I am a currently or retired licensed PROFESSIONAL FIGHTER.
I CONSENT to my NAME being used in this letter in SUPPORT of the IDEA that the
Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports CREATE a
“FIGHTERS COMMITTEE ” so we can have a SEAT and VOICE at the regulatory table.
Among the notable athletes to sign the open letter are champions spanning many generations across many combat sports with the numbers growing by the hour.
Fighters looking to add their to this initiative can do so by filling out a simple form here.