Ali Act sponsor claims UFC attempted to influence witness list of congressional hearing

December 6, 2016

Bloody Elbow reports that the UFC threatened not to participate at a Congressional subcommittee hearing on MMA and the possible expansion of the Ali Act set for Thursday.  The power play was due to Randy Couture’s participation as a witness at the hearing.

According to the bill’s sponsor, Republican congressman Markwayne Mullin, the UFC attempted to influence the hearing by refusing to participate at the hearing.  The hearing is before the subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

The witness list is now public and it appears that based on Congressman Mullin’s statement, the UFC threatened to withdraw the presence of Jeff Novitsky from the hearing.  Novitsky, who is the Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance will be speaking on behalf of the UFC.  The UFC denied Mullin’s statement that they attempted to rescind its participation via Novitsky.

Payout Perspective:

It will be an interesting hearing on Thursday as Couture, Novitsky, Lydia Robertson (Treasurer of the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports) and concussion researcher Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University will be testifying.  Mullin’s assertion that the UFC did not want Couture to testify could be true.  The UFC and Couture have had contentious past and the UFC likely does not want him to speak about his side of the story.  Whether or not the UFC attempted to get Couture off of the witness list is another issue.  Certainly, the company has lobbyists working on its behalf and they have talked to legislators including co-sponsors of the Ali Act Expansion Act.

One Response to “Ali Act sponsor claims UFC attempted to influence witness list of congressional hearing”

  1. Fight Fan on December 7th, 2016 6:39 AM

    Pathetic

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