Categorized | MMA

Fate of Tennessee Athletic Commission to be determined on April 7th

Posted on 02 April 2015 by Allen

MMA: UFC 159-Villante vs St. Preux

After two and a half months of being in limbo the Tennessee Athletic Commission will learn it’s fate on April 7th. Yesterday the Government Operations Committee placed it on their calendar after delaying it on March 31st. Bill HB0392, which would give the Commission another year passed in the House on February 11th. A similar bill, SB0212 also passed in the State Senate on the same day.

If the Government Operations Committee approves the bill next week it will go to the Governor’s office to be signed into law. State Senator Mike Bell, who chairs the committee, had been a critic of the Athletic Commission and wants to see it sustain itself financially. Vice-chairman John Ragan has also been very outspoken about the Commission and wants it to “sunset” if it cannot be self-sufficient. With the UFC announcing that they will be in Nashville in August it gives the Commission some legs to stand on.

Behind the scenes there has been some reluctance from the Bridgestone Arena in letting the UFC book the venue. Due to the Commission being in sunset and the uncertainty of MMA in Tennessee the Arena initially wouldn’t allow Zuffa to hold the date. The UFC has been working with legislators and it’s highly unlikely they would pull the plug and kill the upcoming show that would bring a lot of money to Tennessee and downtown Nashville. If the UFC thought that the Commission wasn’t going to be around they wouldn’t have made the announcement about the show last month.

To read more about what has been going on in Tennessee check out the following links.

Tennessee Athletic Commission to Receive One Year Extension

Tennessee Athletic Commission isn’t going down without a fight

How to keep MMA in Tennessee

MMA and Boxing Events to become Illegal in Tennessee on July 1

Lawmakers want to pull the plug on MMA and Boxing in Tennessee

The Government Operations Committee members are listed below. You can contact their office or send them an email to let them know how important MMA is in Tennessee, and how much money the UFC show will bring to the state and the local economy.

Chairmen Mike Bell

Jeremy Faison

Vice-chair John Ragan

1st Vice-chair Ed Jackson

2nd Vice-chair Kerry Roberts

Committee Members

State Senators
Paul Bailey

Mae Beavers

Janice Bowling

Rusty Crowe

Lee Harris

Brian Kelsey

House of Representatives

Glen Casada

John Ray Clemmons

Craig Fitzhugh

Curtis Halford

Dan Howell

Curtis Johnson

Gerald McCormick

Mike Stewart

If the Committee gives the Athletic Commission another year it is only a small victory. The Commission will have another year to operate and regulate MMA in Tennessee but it will go back into sunset. Lawmakers need to consider allowing pro wrestling to be placed under the jurisdiction of the Commission like Kentucky. This would allow the State to bring in more revenue and make wrestling shows safer.

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