Bill for MMA Fighter Pensions Proposed in California
Fighter and athlete health is a topic that has gained much attention in the last decade or so. MMA fighters train for the majority of their lives just for the chance of reaching their career goals, subjecting themselves to getting beaten up along the way in not only their fights, but their training as well.
In the past, sympathy for the health of people who choose fighting as a career was not high. California’s state legislature is looking to change that after a bill for MMA fighter pensions was proposed. As the only state with a retired boxer pension, California hopes to also be the first to have a retired MMA fighter pension.
State assembly member and bill sponsor Matt Haney is one of the driving forces behind the bill proposed on Feb. 15. The proposed bill would take $1 from every ticket sold at professional MMA events in California, which would then go into the fighter’s pension fund. Fighters who are 50 or older and have had a certain number of pro fights in California, will then get an annual check.
This bill for MMA fighter pensions would help many fighters not only in the future, but fighters now as well. California hosts the most combat sporting events of any state in the country. This means that the roots of MMA culture are strong in the state. New fighters in the UFC and other professional organizations often come out of California, allowing the proposed bill to help MMA fighters in the state dealing with health or other issues related to their career.
Ronda Rousey One of the Bills Largest Supporters
Bill sponsor Matt Haney is supported by the California State Athletic Commission, and former UFC star Ronda Rousey.
As a retired UFC fighter from California, Rousey is the perfect person to advocate for this proposal’s importance.
“You have a much shorter window [in MMA] because your body takes so much more of a heavier toll,” Rousey told ESPN.
Fighters sustain a massive amount of damage during that short window which can impact a fighter for life. “It’s when you’re dealing with the repercussions of that career is when you no longer have that income stream” Rousey added.
Having a UFC Hall of Fame fighter supporting the bill for MMA fighter pensions will not hurt the situation.
With the subject of fighter health becoming more controversial, California may see a rise in fighters who desire to fight at events within the state. If the response to the proposal is large enough, more states may follow Californias ideas. The bill could be heard as early as March 18. This bill proposal is a step in the right direction for the discussion of fighter health.
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