The summer season and the month of July in particular was not kind for promoters, fighters, and fans of Alabama MMA. Constant cancelations, changes to the regulations' sanctioning bodies, and repeated uncertainty plagued the once proud fight scene.
But as other states around the country have realized, the implication of new regulations can momentarily cripple certain individual scenes. Read along as we cover everything that went down within the MMA scene in Alabama throughout July.
During the first week of July, Strikehard Productions returned to The Killer Buzz Arena in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. With the threat that people would not show after the insane heat during Deontay Wilder's fight just weeks earlier, SHP was afraid they would have poor numbers.
Today a press conference was held to announce an exciting new partnership between the Jackson's MMA Series and EXPO New Mexico.
According to Jackson's GM Ricky Kottenstette the move will further improved the visibility of the promotion and the sport within Albuquerque.
"Bringing the series to the heart of Albuquerque will benefit the city while affording more fans the opportunity to see first rate MMA," Kottenstette told the media in attendance.
The world's most unique form of supplemental energy may be extremely beneficial for the mixed martial artist in you, even if the idea did come from a diver.
Jeff Bonisa, an executive chef, avid waterman, rider and someone that likes to play hard, began his adventure in 2009 when he created Mud Energy Gel.
Bonisa, otherwise known as the "Mud Guy", wanted to create a product that would do three things for the user such as energize, maximize and sustain.
Saturday was supposed to be the first opportunity for MMA Solutions and Paul Domenech to serve as a mixed martial arts sanctioning body within Alabama. However, the Alabama Athletic Commission in conjunction with MMA Solutions decided to cancel the entire Alabama Extreme Cage Fighting "Rumble in Rainsville" event scheduled for June 23 in Rainsville, Alabama.
This is the first time in Alabama history a MMA Show has been cancelled by a sanctioning body. According to Sanctioning Body representatives from MMA Solutions there was no other option. The show was not in accordance with Alabama's laws, rules and regulations set by the Alabama Athletic Commission.
There are certain guidelines that must be followed for each event and the AXCF promoter did not meet the minimum requirements such as not scheduling at least six MMA bouts, having all participants previously completed blood work testing, and more.
Due to problems that started earlier in the week with one fighter after another cancelling their participation due to injury, some due to recreational injuries and some due to training injuries, multiple factors contributed to the event getting cancelled.
June marks the halfway point of the first year that the State of Alabama began sanctioning mixed martial arts. In January, the Alabama Athletic Commission started issuing match permits for MMA events around the state. Now, it isn't uncommon find a state-sanctioned fight in several cities in Alabama almost every month.
Due to the fact that the AAC is self-funded, it found itself in dire trouble early on in 2012 and went back to the drawing board in hopes of creating additional revenue. This came in the form of a five-percent tax on all amateur and professional MMA events.
So far, the only revenue generated to date has come from the five pro boxing shows in 2011 and one pro show in February 2012. Needless to say, this has not been enough to keep the Alabama Athletic Commission afloat.
With increasing debt accumulating each month, June witnessed the first layoff by the Commission of its own staff due to funding issues. One Commissioner has voiced concerns that if funds do not come in quickly there may not be a commission much longer.
About a year ago the state of Wisconsin ran into such a low point with its amateur mixed martial arts scene that many believed the amateur division may never recover.
Fighters were ill-prepared to deal with the relatively new state requirements, promoters were still growing accustomed to the newly established costs of hosting an event, and the amateur scene was virtually non-existent in Wisconsin from September of 2010 to February of 2012.
The potential consequences over the lack of an amateur scene could have been disastrous for Wisconsin. Hopeful competitors would have had to routinely travel out-of-state, unprepared fighters would turn pro prematurely, and the overall product of MMA would suffer.
But promotions like the Wisconsin Fighting Championship weren't about to let that happen.
The payments have been disclosed and there were a ton of happy restaurant owners in Las Vegas over the weekend after Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White handed over the checks to the mass of heavyweights that competed at UFC 146.
Heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, his fallen adversary Frank Mir, and the most likely number one contender and former title holder Cain Velasquez led the way in the cash department with each man earning $200,000 for his effort on Saturday.
Other top earners included Dan Hardy who earned $50,000 (not including his “KO of the Night” bonus) for his upset over Duane Ludwig ($18,000), former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown who brought home $52,000 for his win over Daniel Pineda, and Stefan Struve who earned $58,000 to go along with his “Submission of the Night” bonus.