Mixed martial arts has now reached the 90% threshold in terms of states that regulate the sport. After a long, hard, multiple-front war for a prize on par with Helen of Troy, the great state of Wyoming has agreed to regulate the sport by creating a three-man MMA board, whose offices will be situated on 5000 acres of vacant land. Wyoming doesn’t have many people – in fact, it has over twice as many cows – but MMA will be very successful in Wyoming, because we all know that cows absolutely love it when they’re not the only ones bleeding.
This move will actually indirectly hurt the existing unregulated MMA promoters who organize shows in Wyoming, because the MMA board is taking 5% of all gate fees. It would be kind of nice if they didn’t take that large of a percentage, but judging by the above photo, they eat a lot of beef. If the UFC comes to Wyoming, people from Colorado are likely to drive up there and fill the seats, which Wyoming also likes, because it will enable their state highway patrol to get rich off of the Coloradans’ Bud Light-swilling tendencies. Trust me, I know.
Oklahoma, however, says that it’s not accepting any new applications for MMA events after the UFC threatened to sue the state to get its 4% tax on pay-per-view purchases eliminated. The logic behind it is that without the tax money, they don’t have the funds to regulate the sport. More numbers are available from MMAValor in which Oklahoma claims to be getting $80k in UFC money per year from this tax, but lots of the other numbers they’re throwing around, like claiming that they only receive $500 per event in license and assessment fees, seem like slightly fuzzy math. And by “slightly fuzzy math,” I mean, “If this is true, I’ll eat my cowboy hat.” They could definitely afford to regulate the sport by raising those fees. But they prefer to pull the tumbleweeds over the eyes of their hackneyed country folk and point a finger at those big, nasty corporate types from Las Vegas for taking their money away.
But the idea of the UFC suing Oklahoma for this also beggars explanation. What grounds will they cite in this lawsuit? Are they going to try to pull out some interstate commerce jurisdiction crap? Are they going to say they’ve been sexually harassed by the fully erect penis that’s sticking out of Oklahoma’s left side? It might seem odd that the UFC is trying strongarm tactics on a state that probably couldn’t even see it coming, but if every state had taxes like that, it would really hurt the UFC. And by “really hurt,” I mean that Lorenzo Fertitta might be worth $900 million instead of $1 billion.