On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the audio from the April 25 public hearing of the Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media of the California State Assembly, focusing on the bill AB 2100. This bill, also known as the Professional Bill of Rights for MMA Athletes, was introduced by Assembly Member Luis A. Alejo (D-Salinas).
According to Assembly Member Alejo's news release, the bill aims to "protect professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in California from certain exploitative business practices" and to extend to professional MMA fighters "certain legal protections already afforded to professional boxers under the federal Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act of 2000."
The hearing, chaired by Assembly Member Nora Campos, featured several speakers both for and against this bill. Those in favor of the bill included former UFC and Pancrase champion Frank Shamrock, former UFC fighter and now an attorney Christian Wellisch, former MFC lightweight champion Antonio McKee, Rob Maysey of the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association, trainer Juanito Ibarra, and representatives of the labor movement. Opposing the bill were Zuffa lobbyist Tim Lynch, Strikeforce women's 135-pound champion Ronda Rousey, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes, UFC executives Lawrence Epstein and Marc Ratner, and former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell.
This bill was voted upon and approved by the committee by a vote of 5-2 with two not voting, and now goes to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
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Thanks, Eddie Goldman