Sherdog takes a look into West Virginia’s fucked up athletic commission, which allows toughman competitions in great numbers but is fighting tooth and nail to keep MMA from becoming legal.
Toughman’s tenure in the state appears to be fixed in concrete, with the full endorsement of Allred’s commission and none of the political persecution the franchise has experienced in other states.
It’s so firmly rooted that some frustrated advocates of MMA in the state have lobbied charges that promoter Thomas is using his influence to keep MMA out of the area, fearful consumer dollars would be redirected toward an influx of new promoters.
Allred described the idea of an alliance with Thomas as something that “doesn’t even deserve a comment.” Allred’s brother Scott, a former Toughman participant, has worked as an official for Thomas’ promotion.
“The two promoters here control the athletic commission,” said one martial arts instructor in the state. “The reason they don’t want MMA to come is because they’ll lose the game they have going.”
Others in the article suspect the situation might have more to do with commission employees not wanting to handle the workload that would come with regulating MMA – sound familiar? Honestly, after reading about how poorly West Virginia administrates boxing and toughman fights in their state, it’s probably for the best that MMA stays out. With the way things are currently run, the state doesn’t sound safe for any kind of fighter.