Boxer left with brain injury and paralysis settles with New York for $22M

September 8, 2017

Magomed Abdusalamov has agreed to a $22 million injury settlement with the state of New York for injuries sustained in a fight in 2013.  The award is believed to be the largest personal injury settlement the state has ever made.  The Court of Claims of New York approved the settlement agreement on Friday.

For those not familiar, the 36-year-old Abdusalamov was the victim of improper care and the delay in receiving the proper attentionl likely caused a blood clot in the fighter’s brain.  He was forced to take public transportation to a hospital after the fight.  An investigation of the New York State Athletic Commission revealed improper conduct and training related to the medical care on the night of the fight.

Abdusalamov still is in need of medical help.  His speech is limited, is paralyzed on his right side and unable to walk due to multiple strokes he sustained.  His wife cares for him and his three daughters.  As the lawsuit continued, the family went into $2 million in debt as they had to help with his around the clock care.

For the fight, he was paid just $40,000 and received only $10,000 (the full payout) from a mandatory minimum insurance policy.

Payout Perspective:

The settlement should help with the care of Abdusalamov for what may be the rest of his life.  It will also help with the family and the education of his three daughters as it is clear he cannot provide for them financially.  The judge has to confirm these type of settlements as the money will likely be put in a trust of some sort with a legal guardian overseeing the spending so that it is not used for other purposes.  We note the amount of money he was paid and the minimal payout he received from insurance.  You may recall that boxing promoters protested the raise in insurance rates.  The increase was due in part to this incident as the insurance now requires a $1 million traumatic brain injury provision.

New weight classes voted in by ABC

July 26, 2017

The Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sport approved the addition of four new weight classes.  The new weight divisions are an attempt to address the health and safety issues with weight cutting.

The news came at ABC’s annual conference.  The new weight classes are 165, 175, 195 and 225 according to several in attendance.

Fight promotions such as the UFC and Bellator do not have to open up these weight divisions as it is the company’s choice.

Payout Perspective:

The vote to approve these weight classes is a step toward safety in weight cutting especially with smaller fight promotions and fighters that do not have all of the help to cut weight.  With that being said, even in the UFC and Bellator, fighters do damage to themselves when they cut an extreme amount of weight in a short period of time.  With these new weight classes, it will be interesting to see if the UFC and Bellator take a look.

Nate Diaz fine reduced by NSAC

April 12, 2017

MMA Junkie reports that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has reduced Nate Diaz’s fine to $15,000 and to complete 15 hours community service.  The reduction is in line with that given to Conor McGregor after a re-hearing on his discipline stemming from August’s incident at a pre0fight press conference.

Diaz was issued a $50,000 fine plus 50 hours community service for his part in the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference in which he through items at Conor McGregor on stage after leaving in the middle of the press conference.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to approve of the reduction.  Although not agreed upon by Diaz or his representatives, it is believed that Diaz will take the deal.

Payout Perspective:

This was a likely scenario given the NSAC’s vote to reduce Conor McGregor’s suspension.  It only makes sense that Diaz would also receive a reduction in the amount of his fine.  There were reports that Diaz had paid the fine so if this is true, he’d likely get a refund.  It seems unlikely that Diaz would push the new fine since its considerably less than the original and it would cost more to fight it.  Also, he has not sought out a fight so this has not really impacted him aside from his pocketbook and the time to do community service.

NSAC-McGregor agree to settlement from UFC 202 pre-fight incident

March 22, 2017

Conor McGregor’s punishment from the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to his involvement in a pre-UFC 202 news conference has been reduced.  The NSAC approved the settlement on Wednesday.

McGregor is fined $25,000 and ordered to complete 25 hours of community service within six months in addition to paying court costs.  The original punishmen t was $150,000 and 50 hours of community service.

McGregor filed a lawsuit in Clark County, Nevada seeking judicial review of the original punishment.  The lawsuit was the normal means of appealing a ruling from an administrative body.

The commission voted to re-hear McGregor’s case today during the NSAC’s monthly meeting.  McGregor did not appear but was represented by his attorney Jennifer Goldstein.  McGregor had met with NSAC chair Anthony Marnell and NSAC executive director Bob Bennett earlier this month which led to the re-hearings.

In December, Nate Diaz reached a settlement with the NSAC for a $50,000 fine and 50 hours of community service.

Payout Perspective:

This makes good on a horrible overreach by the commission.  Diaz should also look for a re-hearing on his fine and community service as well.  It also paves the way for clearing McGregor to obtain a boxing license in Nevada for the possibility of a fight with Floyd Mayweather.  This would obviously benefit Nevada if (and that’s a big if) that fight actually happens.

California adopts new rule for those not making weight

March 14, 2017

MMA Fighting reports that the California State Athletic Commission has enacted a new rule that will fine a fighter’s win bonus in addition to his or her show money when that fighter misses weight.

Commission head Andy Foster announced the new rule at a commission meeting on Tuesday.

Via MMA Fighting:

CSAC fined fighters’ 20 percent for missing weight, with the money coming out of their show money only. Half of that percentage went to the opponent and the other half went to the commission. Now, in addition to that, a fighter who misses weight will have his or her win bonus fined 20 percent, with that full total going to the opponent. The win bonus fine will only come into play, of course, if the fighter who misses weight is victorious in the bout.

Foster indicated that the win bonus for the fighter missing weight should be considered a part of the purse money and should be awarded to the fighter that made weight.

The new rule shall be implemented in bout agreements once contracts reflecting the changes are drafted and approved.

In addition, the committee is looking into ways to address extreme weight-cutting and hope to have more information at their next meeting this May.

Payout Perspective:

This is an interesting twist to addressing the issue of weight-cutting.  Of course, the rule might negatively impact the overall goal of ensuring that fighters safely cut weight.  Certainly, fighters not making weight should be punished but the commission also wants to ensure the health and safety of fighters.  If a fighter knows they will lose more money for not making weight, it might lead to extreme measures which might cause further harm to a fighter trying to make weight.  Obviously, for the fighter making weight, the extra money makes sense.

As an alternative to the fine, there could be an alternative of expanding to more weight divisions.  But, we will see how this rule plays out in California and if other commissions adopt it.

NAC to vote on rehearing of McGregor disciplinary case

February 16, 2017

MMA Fighting reports that Conor McGregor requests a rehearing of his NAC disciplinary case.  In an unprecedented move, the NAC plans on putting McGregor’s request up for a vote at the March 22nd meeting.  Notably, NAC executive director and chairman Anthony Marnell recommend the request be granted.

According to a statement released by the NAC on Tuesday, McGregor met with Marnell and Bennett.

In October, the NAC determined McGregor’s original fine to be $75,000 plus 50 hours community service and a public service announcement that would be $75,000 in value.

Since then, McGregor has filed for a judicial review of the NAC ruling in Clark County Superior Court.

As we all know, McGregor is aiming for a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.  With the intent that the matchup happens in Las Vegas, McGregor would have to obtain a license.  However, the disciplinary fine precludes McGregor from receiving the boxing license.

Payout Perspective:

A rehearing is a clear indication that the NAC wants to reduce the disciplinary charges for McGregor.  Moreover, they want to grant him a license so, if a fight with Mayweather actually occurs, it can happen in Vegas.  This rehearing is not how due process should occur as the appeal should go to the court.  But, if McGregor agrees to dismiss the judicial review in lieu of settling the case at the NAC, I’m sure that could happen.

16 for 16: No. 3 New York finally passes law to legalize professional MMA in the state

December 30, 2016

After a long battle, the New York Assembly voted to legalize professional MMA in the state this past spring. It was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 14th.

Thus, on September 1st the sport became legal and regulated by the state.

Assembly votes shown in this picture.  Green is good.

After much lobbying, time and effort, the UFC opened up with the first major card at Madison Square Garden on November 12th.

Notably, the UFC 205 Countdown show included a part dedicated to showing Sheldon Silver indicted on corruption charges.  He is currently appealing his prison sentence.  It was one final shot at the individual that Dana White blamed for not allowing a vote on the bill for years.

The UFC debut did not disappoint as it enjoyed the richest gates in company history.

Not long after the initial joy of legalizing the sport, boxing promoters began to complain about the hefty tax needed to insure fighters for events.  A new insurance premium that would cover $1 million for each fighter on the card would be required for operation in New York.

In October, Promoter Lou DiBella canceled the remaining cards he was planning in the state due to the new requirement that has a $1 million minimum for each fighter in the event the fighter suffer a traumatic brain injury.  The UFC paid approximately $1,675 per fighter and approximately $44,000 overall.  It paid $40,200 for the Albany, New York show on December 9th.  This does not include the standard $50K medical and $50K accidental death insurance policies.

Of course, one has to wonder whether or not boxing lobbied against the MMA bill due to the new insurance requirement.  The new requirement does stem in part from a 2013 post-boxing incident in the state which left boxer Magomed Abdusalamov fighting for his life and a commission report found issues with the handling of the event.

New York set a tax of 8.5% on gross receipts in addition to other tax terms for MMA events.  Thus, the state collected approximately $1.5 million in taxes from UFC 205 according to the reported gate of $17.7 million.

Despite the hefty tax paid by the UFC, it reported the best merchandise sales ever for an event.

Look for the UFC to hold big events in the New York to offset the insurance and taxes it needs to pay.  Notwithstanding the cost, the final hurdle to legalize the sport in the state was a monumental hurdle the company overcame.  One might consider it a factor in the sale of the company.

16 for 16

4.  Legislation to expand Ali Act introduced

5.  UFC 200

6.  The year of Conor McGregor

7.  Bellator signings

8.  UFC pulls credentials for Helwani after breaking news

9.  Legal troubles for Jon Jones continues

10.  WSOF legal woes continues

11.  Ronda Rousey returns

12.  Alliance MMA goes public

13.  GSP declares himself a free agent

14.  Bellator 149

15.  CM Punk debuts

16.  Former Bellator employee sues company, organization sues back

Diaz assessed $50K fine and community service by NSAC

December 15, 2016

Nate Diaz has settled a complaint filed the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his role in the bottle-throwing incident at the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference.

Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto:

NAC Diaz Answer by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Diaz apologized for the incident in his Answer to the NSAC Complaint.  He did state that he “lightly tossed a half empty plastic water bottle in the direction of his opponent [McGregor] without the intent to strike anyone and, in fact, the bottle did not strike anyone.”   He had requested community service or suspension in lieu of monetary penalty.

Payout Perspective:

The settlement agreement does not include a suspension but a $50,000 fine which is similar to the amount given to Conor McGregor with the exception that McGregor must do a public service announcement.  The settlement saves Diaz from further legal issues related to the incident.

Commission to hear Lesnar, Jones and Diaz discipline cases

December 12, 2016

It appears that settlements have been brokered on behalf of 3 UFC fighters and the Nevada Athletic Commission.  MMA Fighting reports that the NAC announced Nate Diaz, Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar are scheduled to appear for hearing on their “proposed adjudication agreements” at the December 15th commission meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jones settled with the NAC on a one year suspension which would put him back in the Octagon by July 6, 2017 at the earliest.  He also was given a one year suspension by USADA.

Diaz hearing stems from his role in the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference.

NAC Diaz Complaint by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

NAC Diaz Answer by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Lesnar’s complaint stems from two failed USADA drug tests after UFC 200.

NAC Lesnar Complaint by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

NAC Lesnar Answer by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

Payout Perspective:

The anticipated settlements reflect the fact that no one wants to test the uncertainty of the punishment that the NAC may hand out.  Conor McGregor has filed a Petition for Review of his NAC fine of $75,000.  Depending on the length of the settlements, it likely means that the fighters will be able to plan their next fights.  In the case of Lesnar, it’s not clear whether he may fight in the UFC again.

Jon Jones settles with NAC

December 8, 2016

MMA Fighting reports that Jon Jones has reached a settlement with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and will serve a one year suspension.  Jones will be able to return this summer to the UFC octagon.

Jones avoids a hearing before the NAC which could have added on to a USADA suspension handed down to him in October.  A three-person arbitration panel handed down a one year suspension for Jones as he was the first UFC fighter to take USADA to arbitration.  The panel determined that Jones acted recklessly when he took a Cialis-like sexual enhancement pill without knowledge of its contents.  Jones had hoped that the arbitration panel would have been more lenient in its sentencing as a one year suspension was the original requested penalty for Jones.

Jones was to have appeared before the NAC next week at the commission’s monthly hearing.  Jones or his representatives will be there, but to confirm the agreed upon settlement, rather than deal with a punishment.

The one year suspension appears to be retroactive to the date of the discovery of his USADA drug test results, July 6, 2016.

Payout Perspective:

The settlement ensures that Jones will have a possibility to return to the UFC at about the same time that the UFC will run its annual International Fight Week.  This should/could mean the long awaited fight between Jones-Cormier could occur then assuming Jones stays out of trouble and Cormier remains injury-free.  With today’s news, Jones avoids the possibility of an additional suspension and/or prolonged legal battle.

NAC Jon Jones Complaint by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

NAC Jon Jones Answer by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

x

Next Page »