In an update from yesterday, MMARising.com has confirmed that all fighters on this Friday’s Shine Fights card in Newkirk, Oklahoma will face ineligibility suspensions for taking part in an unsanctioned event. The suspensions, expected to last between 60 and 90 days, are enforceable by all member states in the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC).
Fighters deemed as “ineligible” will be unable to compete on any sanctioned mixed martial arts cards until the duration of their suspension has expired. All Shine Fights participants will face this distinction.
As first reported yesterday, the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission will have zero involvement with the planned Shine Fights event. No commission representatives will be present and the OSAC will not handle traditional duties such as ensuring that each individual fighter is insured by the promotion and that required medical staff are on-hand. Shine Fights will model its show after an Oklahoma-based promotion known as C3 Fights, which runs unsanctioned events throughout the year. Fighters on C3 Fights events face the same ineligibility suspensions that Shine Fights competitors will.
Additionally, the OSAC will have no control over fighters receiving payment. In January, 5150 Combat held an event at the SpiritBank Event Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The promotion was unable to pay the fighters who competed on the card and, following months of delays and promises, the promoters fled the country. Fortunately, the OSAC had required 5150 to put up a $50,000 bond in the event that fighters could not be paid in a timely manner. The bond was subsequently cashed and fighters received most or all of their fight purses.
That will not be the case here should Shine encounter further issues with paying their fighters.
According to Shine Fights COO Jason Chambers, Shine has secured funds to cover all fighter purses and has placed the funds in an escrow. However, in the event that Shine cannot pay its fighters – as it reportedly failed to do following a failed event in May in North Carolina – there will be no commission to ensure that fighters are paid.
MMARising.com has learned that, in addition to concerns over the planned formatting of the Shine Fights event (a one-night, eight-man lightweight tournament), the promotion’s controversial past played a part in the OSAC’s decision not to sanction their event this Friday.
While Chambers has stated that Shine is committed to “maintaining continuity with the local standards [rules enforced by the OSAC],” the commission’s rules and guidelines are clear. Fighters participating in unsanctioned MMA, as the Shine Fights event will be, are subject to ineligibility suspensions and will be unable to compete on any sanctioned cards until deemed eligible to do so. Chambers has claimed that no suspensions will be handed out to Shine Fights combatants, but the OSAC and commission associates state otherwise. The OSAC policy has been in place for over a year.
With no commission involvement, Shine Fights will hold little accountability in the event that anything goes wrong with their Friday event. Nonetheless, the promotion intends to move forward with Shine Fights 3: Lightweight Grand Prix, which will air live on pay-per-view. The event is now set to take place at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma.