MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 10/31: New insurance regulations in New York could drive out smaller groups (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Mike Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor


Unique insurance regulations for MMA in the state of New York will make it more expensive for UFC to run shows in the state, and may be enough to keep smaller promotions out of the state all together.

Reporting from MMA Fighting has confirmed that MMA promotions running in New York will have to comply with a $1 million traumatic brain injury insurance provision. The cost of the policy will be $1,675 per fighter or, in the case of UFC 205, $43,550 to cover all 26 fighters on the card. This insurance is on top of usual medical insurance that the report states costs about $4,000 per card.The same $1,675 price tag will apply to the Dec. 9 UFC show from Albany, so the price is not steep solely because UFC 205 is a bigger show or because it’s in New York City.

With insurance premiums being so high, and so much more than in other states, this will likely limit the number of smaller promotions that run in the state as even a modest eight-fight card would come with a $26,800 bill for the traumatic brain injury insurance premium.

Aside from the two UFC events this year, World Series of Fighting has a Dec. 31 show scheduled for New York City and Scott Coker has expressed interest in bringing Bellator to New York sometime in 2017. Other than these three promotions, all of which have major TV outlets, no MMA promotions are slated to run in the Empire State.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: UFC did a lot of work and put a lot of money into legalizing MMA in New York so they surely deserve the first show in the state, but in time, they may be the only promotion to run in the state as World Series of Fighting and possibly even Bellator may find the expense to be not worth it. These premiums all but rule out any minor promotions from running if they are expected to pay the same premiums. I don’t know if this provision was talked about behind closed doors when UFC was lobbying for legalization, but it does come across as something UFC may have been aware of but not opposed to as it limits competition in the state.


-Jon Jones had an arbitration hearing with USADA scheduled for today but no word on an outcome yet.

-Marcos Galvao vs L.C. Davis and Chris Honneycut vs. Ben Reiter have been added to Bellator 166 on Dec. 2 from Thackerville, Oklahoma.

-Bellator will be holding their Bellator 170: Tito Ortiz vs. Chael Sonnen press conference this Thursday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. starting around 6:15 ET immediately following the Bellator UFC 163: McGeary vs. Davis weigh-in.

-Speaking of Chael Sonnen, he tells TMZ this week that Arnold Schwarznegger would have adapted well to MMA if he had decided to get into the sport. You can watch the video here.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 10/30: Ronda Rousey to return to Ellen Show where she previously talked of suicidal thoughts after loss (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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