I just sent this email out to some people here in Georgia. I don't have everyone's email addresses, nor do I know everyone that is interested. So I'm posting it here as well.
Hello all, hope all is well. I wanted to drop you a line to let you know that this Friday (April 20) there will be a meeting at 11 am to discuss amateur mma in Georgia.
I'm not looking for people to reply back to me to let me know your thoughts, I'm just emailing out information for you to have in case you are interested in attending to voice your opinions, thoughts or concerns.
The Georgia Athletic Commission is looking to adopt the Amateur MMA rules that are presently being used in New Jersey. Although I have not had the time to look at all of the NJ rules, I have been told that these rules include amateur fighters wearing shinguards and amatuer fighters not being allowed to either punch while on the ground, or punch in the face while on the ground. I believe there are other small rule differences, and you can take the time to find them on your own by doing a Google search for NJ amateur mma rules, but unfortunately I don't have the time to do so right now.
I have talked to Kelly Farr (the director of the Athletic Commmission) today and asked him about the process. Basically we're more than welcome to attend the meeting on Friday at 11 am to voice our concerns, but please make sure to do so in a polite and controlled manner. Additionally, do not come to the meeting with your defense to keep amateur mma the same as it is because "if it ain't broken don't fix it."
We need to come with actual evidence on why the system of amateur mma and the rules are good current rules. For example, I'm going to call my insurance company and see if they can research the 200 or so amateur fights that I've put on and tell me how many insurance claims that I've filed over the years. I don't believe it's many at all and I think this could be good evidence. Additionally, maybe we can research other states that allow amateur mma and we can find out about their rules and tell the commission that the majority of the states that allow amateur mma use the same rules that are currently in place in Georgia.
Maybe one of our refs can come to the meeting and express their thoughts. Maybe a trainer or two can tell how safe amateur mma is and why we shouldn't allow shinguards as it actually will increase the chance of injuries to the ankles.
Regardless, if you have the time to attend the meeting, please do so. The location is below and you can find directions at http://www.sos.state.ga.us/gaec/
I don't send out emails like this often. I have had a positive relationship with the Georgia Athletic Commission dating back to 1999. I hope that if this is a topic that you care enough about that you take the time to attend. Additionally, this is your time and opportunity to be heard. Don't bitch about rule changes later if you didn't do everything you can to help out.
The April Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission meeting is rescheduled for Friday April 20 at 11am. The meeting will take place in the Securities conference room on the 8th floor of the West Tower in the Sloppy Floyd building at 2 Martin Luther King Jr Dr Atlanta GA.