According to a post by Hardknock Promotions on their facebook page, Alabama Governor Bob Riley signed SB 327 yesterday. This legislation will change the state's boxing commission into an athletic commission with the authority to regulate the sport of mixed martial arts within Alabama. This is great news for fans, fighters, and promoters of the sport because in-state promotions and events will gain more legitimacy through state sanctioning.
Hardknock's promoters state that they have been in contact with Casey Sears, a member of the Alabama Boxing Commission, about the proposed rules that will govern mma in Alabama. However, the process of finalizing rules and regulations for the sport could take as long as eight months. The commission plans to stop all mma events within the state until such time as the governing rules are finalized.
Sears was appointed to the Alabama Boxing Commission last year and has been part of the push for sanctioning the sport of mma in Alabama. Black Eye MMA interviewed Mr. Sears about all of the relevant issues involved with the sanctioning of mma. That interview can be seen at Mefeedia.com.
Although the process of legitimizing mma events in Alabama through state sanctioning is a positive for everyone, the waiting period is sure to be a disappointment for promoters, fighters, and fans. Hardknock Fighting Championship had planned to do an event at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville in May. Those plans will now have to be put on hold.