Cage fighting event canceled for now | TheUnion.com

Cage fighting event canceled for now

Jill Bauerle

Cage fighting fans hoping to see local fighters trade blows at the Nevada County Fairgrounds next month will have to wait.

A local would-be promoter canceled a mixed martial arts event scheduled for Feb. 17 after new state requirements stopped his athletes from renewing their licenses in time for the event.

In compliance with a new California law that went into effect Jan. 1, the California Athletic Commission requires mixed martial arts athletes to complete EKG tests and MRI brain imaging scans as part of their application for an athlete’s license. These tests are required in addition to physical, blood, eye and neurological examinations.

“By the time they would have gotten their stuff together, it would have been too late,” said Jay Perry of Perry’s Athletic Training Center in Grass Valley. “Nobody had money for MRIs.”

The sport traces its origins to 7th century B.C. Greece when it was wildly popular. Its modern incarnation has drawn enthusiastic followers and criticism that it is a decadent blood sport – despite health safeguards for competitors that sparked its legal re-emergence in the United States in 2001.

Perry had canceled a mixed martial arts event at the Fairgrounds on Dec. 2 because of a snafu with his promoter’s license.

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The event would have paired 18 amateur athletes against each other in various weight classes.

Perry had secured the $20,000 bond required by the CAC for his professional mixed martial arts promoter’s license, he said. But when it became apparent the event wouldn’t happen due to a lack of eligible athletes, he withdrew his application.

Meanwhile, Perry said, he applied for an amateur kickboxing promoter’s license. He hopes to promote kickboxing tournaments in Nevada County in 2007, he said.

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To contact Staff Writer Jill Bauerle, e-mail jillb@theunion .com or call 477-4219.

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