Bennett explains the need for Zuffa to co-promote

August 24, 2017

Earlier this week Nevada Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett explained why Zuffa needed to apply to be a co-promoter for Saturday’s Mayweather-McGregor fight.  He also offered an unfulfilling explanation of a promoter in Nevada.

Bennett’s explanation as to why Zuffa need to be a co-promoter for Saturday’s event is that it needed to pay Conor McGregor.  It pointed to a Nevada Athletic Commission regulation NAC 467.112(2) which prohibits a promoter from paying an unarmed combatant.  Here, Floyd Mayweather as promoter could not pay Conor McGregor due to this rule.  As such, Zuffa had to apply for the license.

In the interview with MMA Fighting, Bennett noted that Zuffa’s license as promoter does not specifically identify it as a boxing license but merely as promoter.  The importance of this is that it may or may not preclude Zuffa from availing itself to the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act.

Payout Perspective:

The timing of the application, the last commission hearing before the fight, seems curious to me considering Zuffa could have applied for this from the outset.  Moreover, it appeared that Zuffa would allow Mayweather and Showtime as the fight’s producer and PPV distributor to take the driver’s seat while Zuffa would assist on its platforms.  This new explanation seems viable, while at the same time seems to be a safeguard against any withholding of money by Mayweather Promotions.  At one point, I had believed that McGregor had his own promotion company affixed to this event.  Now, it seems that Zuffa is the one representing the MMA side of this fight.  It does seem interesting that Zuffa need not indicate what type of promoter it is.  Whether or not it is inferred that it is promoting a boxing match and automatically avails itself to the Ali Act is a question that I would like to be answered.  If it’s a loophole to avoid dealing with the Ali Act, it might raise some eyebrows.

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