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MMA In PA: Major Progress Update


By Matt Leyshock - Posted on 27 February 2012

I am going to give you a quick update of some of the things that have happened since we last talked about the MMA rules in Pa. A few of us have been working behind the scenes to push the rule changes we have talked about in the past and have made some marked improvement.  I have kept most of this information private because this site is much bigger than most probably realize and I didn't want to risk affecting things by posting information too soon.

Pittsburgh Fight Club owner Mick Murrow prefers to work behind the scenes rather than in the spotlight, but lately he has been working very closely with the governor's office on getting the rules adjusted in the state.

We now need the help of everyone with a cell phone. Call your county representative and ask for the changes to be made using one of the numbers listed below:

Allegheny County (717) 787-5580 James R Brewster

Westmoreland County (717) 787-6063 Kim L. Ward

Washington County (717) 787-1463 Thomas j. Solobay

Beaver County (717) 787-3076 Elder A. Vogel Jr.

We have reached an turning point and some major changes are in the works. Read the open letter and Rule proposals after the jump:

TO ALL MMA FIGHTERS AND FANS:

As many of you know, many of us have been involved in efforts with several different politicians in an attempt to get the amateur MMA rules changed in Pennsylvania.

Our efforts culminated in our political representatives meeting with the Governor’s Office Legislative Director and PA State Athletic Commissioner Greg Sirb several weeks ago. It took a lot longer than we had hoped for that meeting to occur, but through our combined efforts, the meeting finally did take place.

The meeting produced some promising results; assuming Mr. Sirb is a man of his word. He agreed to propose regulation changes stipulating that after (3) fights, amateur fighters could fight under the unified rules that allow ground and pound and no shin guards. He would call this the advanced amateur division.

His thoughts were that fighters could petition his commission after (3) fights to secure status as an advanced amateur. Our representatives strongly disagreed with this idea stating that it left too much power in the commission’s hands in determining the advanced amateur division status of a fighter. Mr. Sirb assured our representatives that he intended to leave the upgrading of the fighters to the advanced amateur division in the hands of the trainers. Our representatives were skeptical of that, but decided to see how Mr. Sirb writes that up in the regulations.

Mr. Sirb also stated that he agreed with these changes and would push them forward but he could not guarantee that the (3) commissioners or the chief medical consultant would approve his proposed changes. He told the politicians at the meeting that he was confident that they would approve the changes but he could not guarantee it. When our representatives suggested they speak directly to the medical personal and the commissioners, Mr. Sirb told them that he felt that would be unnecessary.

I do not know Mr. Sirb, but he has obviously left himself an excuse to see that these regulations do not get approved by suggested that the commissioners and medical personal might overrule him. The fact is that they have never overruled him on any issue that our investigators were able to uncover. I would contend that they have always followed  his lead on regulation changes, and if they were to do otherwise in this case  it would be because he wanted that to be the outcome. However, I believe that the Governor’s Office and our Representatives are well aware of that fact as well. The fact that Mr. Sirb serves at the pleasure of the Governor (Secretary of the Commonwealth) will hopefully be incentive to keep to his word on this issue.

A public meeting of the state athletic commission is scheduled for Tuesday March 6th to discuss this issue.

I am not sure where this will lead, but I am optimistic and feel we have a good chance of getting competitive rules for amateur MMA in Pennsylvania that will allow the sport to flourish in our state.

Anyone that can make the meeting is encouraged to do so. If not, please call your local state representatives and state senators and tell their offices that you want these rules changes approves – if you want to see MMA grow and flourish in Pennsylvania. Those calls could be the difference between this getting passed or not, so please pick up the phone and let your voice be heard.

Most Respectfully,

Mick Morrow

Fight Club Pittsburgh MMA

So it is pretty easy at this point.  All we have to do is call these state representatives and tell them that we want the rules changed.

You can use this website to find your local representative but I have listed the most common county contacts below:

Allegheny County (717) 787-5580 James R Brewster

Westmoreland County (717) 787-6063 Kim L. Ward

Washington County (717) 787-1463 Thomas j. Solobay

Beaver County (717) 787-3076 Elder A. Vogel Jr.

 

Please share this post on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Tell everyone you know to call one of these numbers and ask your state Rep. to push the changes. If you are not sure what to say here use this script below:

 "I am calling to tell the (Representative or Senator) that me, my family, and all my friends would like the Mixed Martial Arts rules in Pennsylvania to be changed to allow the state to compete with Ohio and the Athletic Commission is having a hearing on Monday, March 6th to discuss this issue. You would like the (Representative or Senator )to make sure the Commission knows that (he/she) supports the changes. We have supported you in the past and we would like your help on this issue please."

 

 

 

 

To all the fighters, gym owners, and trainers in the area:

Obviously getting the rules changed in Pennsylvania would be beneficial to every fighter in Pennsylvania. It would allow the sport to grow and allow the local amateur fighters to get the notoriety they deserve for all their hard work and dedication. It will also allow them to sell more tickets if their fans do not have to drive to Cleveland.

This upcoming meeting on Tuesday is our biggest chance to get these rules changed which would undoubtedly change the course of MMA in the state of Pennsylvania. If you are a local fighter, trainer, promoter, or fan of MMA it would really help to have you at this meeting. It is a public meeting and you will be allowed to express your opinion. I would not doubt that there will be plants at the meeting ready to say why they do not want the rules changed. The more people that are at the meeting to say otherwise, the better chance we have of winning this battle. A lot of time and effort has been spent to give us this opportunity. We need some more of you in the MMA community to step up and assist with this battle.

The Meeting of the Athletic Commission to discuss the MMA rules changes will be held on Tuesday March 6th in Room 303, North Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120, at 11 a.m. This meeting is open to the public. The GPS address to the North Office Building is 401 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0211

If you can make the meeting, please do so. We will not get another chance like this.

Mick

FCP

Would it be helpful for out of state people to call? And if so, who do we call? Is that saying advanced amateurs can use elbows?

"Pain is merely weakness leaving the body."

As many calls as we can get into the districts the better.  The rule changes would be very similar to the Ohio rules which would not permit elbow strikes as an amateur.

If you dont feel comfortable calling, you can share this post on your facebook and twitter accounts to spread the word.

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