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ASK THE COMMISSION: What happens when a fighter no-shows for an event? Print E-mail
Written by Matt Schowalter   
Monday, 07 July 2014 14:09

(EDITOR'S NOTE: During the weekly "Ask the Commission" feature, Matt Schowalter or someone else from the Minnesota Combative Sports Commission will tackle your questions. If you have questions for the commission, send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Enjoy!)


 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A FIGHTER NO-SHOWS OR MISSES WEIGHT FOR A FIGHT?

"I haven't had an opponent no-show on me yet, but it is a big fear of mine. That's the ultimate low of lows." -- Current Minnesota licensed amateur combatant

No-showing an event, or missing the weight you agreed to fight at, is something the Minnesota Office of Combative Sports takes very seriously. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make a a fight happen, so when someone shows up overweight, or doesn't show up at all, it costs people a lot of time and money.

For these reasons, we have the following policy for fighters who miss weight or no-show an event:

* First offense -- Written warning. (The written warning is also noted on the fighter's national record, so that every regulatory body is aware that the fighter had an issue.)

* Second offense -- 60-day suspension.

* Third offense -- six-month suspension and possible revocation of license.

As you can see, someone who is a repeat offender can face extensive penalties that could affect their career. Being labeled as a person who consistently misses weight, or no-shows, could also result in that person being denied a license with other regulatory bodies.

Keep in mind that missing weight, or no-showing, also affects more people than just the regulatory body or yourself. Here's how a couple fighters feel about it:

"There is absolutely nothing more upsetting and frustrating than dealing with a no-show in MMA, especially if you both are each

other's original opponent. You are cutting weight for weeks, making sacrifices everywhere with the expectation that it'll all be worth it when you get your hand raised. Then you are waiting around at the weighins or at the actual fights and before you know it, the promoter is telling you that your fight's off. It is one of the most disrespectful things you can do to somebody who has been training and dedicated themselves for one goal and one purpose. To take that away from them because you could not make weight or were simply too unsure of yourself (perhaps you didn't train properly, didn't diet properly, dealing with trouble at home, work obligations, end of the semester for school). Whatever the reason for no showing might be, it is still disrespectful and unprofessional! People paid good money to come watch you fight. You went through and did everything you're supposed to do but yet the friends and family who paid to see their fighter compete, still are the ones who lose out. There absolutely needs to be some sort of penalty for fighters who do this. It comes back to whether or not you are truly serious about this sport. Whether you are serious or not, there will always be people who are. Show some class and professionalism and follow through with what you've said you would do. If you get injured in camp very close to the fight, or are genuinely having weight issues, talk to your coach or the promoter first and see if you can work something out. It does no good to just not show up at the last minute and screw everyone over."

 

"I ultimately find it pretty disrespectful when a fighter misses weight, especially if I wasn't given a heads up and notified. If I cut all the weight I needed to in order to make weight and my opponent knew he wasn't going to make weight ahead of time and didn't let me or the promoter know, I'd be pretty pissed. I wouldn't agree to fight that person ever again no matter what the excuse. I train to fight, I want opponents who do the same."

So how does it affect the promotion? Here's what one matchmaker said:

"It's frustrating. It costs us all a bunch of time and money, time and money we can't get back. It's stressful running a show as is, and then dealing with someone who's a flake or who can't make weight, it adds to an already stressful process. But in the end, I feel the worst for the opponent. We had a guy flat-out not show up for one of our recent shows. Weighed in, did everything right with medicals leading up to the event. Then no-showed on fight night. Didn't even tell the promotion. As far as he goes ... he's a person we will NEVER trust again. But I felt horrible for his opponent. Yeah, we paid for the kid's hotel, gas, etc., and that's money we lose. But it's the fact this kid busted his ass for months training for the fight, and then he had it ripped away from him just hours before he was to step in the cage. Let's not forget his fans. He had family traveling to the venue for the fight. The guy who no-showed ripped them off, too. Heck, he ripped every fan off. He made a liar of the promotion, telling fans there would be another fight. The losing of time and money is frustrating, but it happens. It's the other stuff that stings and makes it the ultimate slap in the face. ... Missing weight is disrespectful, but no-showing is worse. People who do this on a regular basis have no place in MMA. Frankly, I wish the commission was even harder on them. A flat-out no-show? Why should they be allowed to fight again any time soon? The good thing is, these guys get weeded out along the way anyway. Promoters aren't going to use Mr. Unreliable, not more than once anyway."

It's important that when you are offered a fight, you not only take the fight at a weight you know you can easily make, but also that you are committed to seeing the whole thing through from beginning to end.

When you fail to meet the obligations you agreed to, you not only hurt yourself, but your opponent, the fans, the promoter, and even the sport we all love.

 

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