Virginia Athletic Commission fires back at Shine Fights after CEO slams sanctioning body for denial of license


If you're anywhere between Virginia and Oklahoma, be sure to duck if you leave the house.

There's a lot of mud-slinging right now between Shine Fights and the Virginia Athletic Commission after the mixed martial arts promotion was denied a license to hold its lightweight grand prix pay-per-view on Sept. 10 in Fairfax.

Shine Fights CEO Devin Price blamed the commission for hasty decision making after word spread that it had not fulfilled its financial obligations from the failed "Worlds Collide" event back in May.

"I was given verbal approval for our Sept 10 event by the Virginia state commission 32 days prior to the fight date. The commission did not express any problems with our event until certain members of the MMA community accused Shine of having reneged on our responsibilities following the cancellation of our May 15, 2010 "Worlds Collide: Ricardo Mayorga-Din Thomas" fight card in Fayetteville, NC. The Virginia commission was understandably concerned, but instead of allowing us to prove the concerns were unfounded, they refused to provide a license. And we could have proved this since on Friday [Sept 3] the North Carolina commission ruled that Shine HAD met all its obligations from the May 15, 2010 event. It is unfortunate things had to end this way; however, I know we will still have a great show on Sept 10 and we are happy to be working with the First Council Casino."

The Virginia Atheltic Commission tells it had no choice, as Shine failed to prove that it had "procured a surety bond" and was "either late or unable to provide complete medical records and test results."

From Mary Broz-Vaughan, director of communications for the Dept. of Professional and Occupational Regulation:

"We were begging for information from them on Tuesday. We just can’t put on an event without the required documents. Our bonding requirement would have allayed these (purse and payout) concerns, but (Shine) didn’t provide evidence that they’d acquired one. Allegations alone are not sufficient grounds for denial. We looked to see if there was a way we could make [a grand prix tournament] work, though we don’t take kindly to that type of event in the state. There just wasn’t enough level of detail in (Shine’s proposed rules) that we were comfortable with."

Shine is committed to the Sept. 10 date for its 155-pound tournament and was able to secure a spot at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma, after Virginia put the kibosh on Saturday's event.

Not coincidentally, the show will now be unsanctioned and unregulated, which means fighters are putting both their health and their paychecks at risk.

Sounds like a blast.

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