McGregor could address Congress in rights campaign for fighters
(Reuters) - Mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor could speak in the United States Congress to help with a campaign to extend the legal protections enjoyed by boxers to MMA fighters, according to Congressman Markwayne Mullin.
Mullin, a former fighter, is trying to get a bill passed which would extend the “Ali Act” - which protects the rights of boxers - to MMA.
He says McGregor, who lost a multi-million dollar boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather last month after switching fighting codes, may help him to do it.
“We have been told by his team that he (McGregor) was going to come to the (Capitol) Hill to talk about this,” Mullin, a Republican from Oklahoma, told Reuters in an interview.
Enacted in 2000, the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act is intended to protect the rights of boxers and to help U.S. states to regulate the sport and maintain its integrity.
Among the safeguards offered to boxers by the Act are protection from “coercive contracts”, the establishment of an independent ranking system and the banning of promoters from having a “direct or indirect financial interest” in the management of fighters.
Mullin is pressing for another hearing on the Ali Extension Act in September or October, yet as both a de facto governing body and a promoter, the UFC, the most high-profile and lucrative MMA organization, is resisting the move.
UFC’s chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein told Reuters that the body was already “exceeding the requirements when it comes to health and safety and contracts”.