Pension fund for MMA fighters approved in California

Assembly Bill 1136 or the Mixed Martial Arts Retirement Benefit Fund bill, introduced by Assemblymember Matt Haney, D-San Francisco, was overwhelmingly approved on the Senate and Assembly floors without opposition on Wednesday.

The pension fund for MMA fighters would require all promotions to include the UFC and Bellator to allot a portion of ticket sales in the state to help competitors have guaranteed income after retirement, according to Haney’s office.

Haney’s office clarified that the pension would not be funded by state money but “financed through ticket sales, sports paraphernalia, and souvenirs.”

“For every ticket sold, $1 would go towards the MMA Fighters Pension Fund. MMA fighters would become vested between 12-14 fights, which is around 39 scheduled rounds at Commission-regulated MMA events,” Haney’s office said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom still has to sign the bill, and then the California State Athletic Commission who will manage the new fund will begin creating it as soon as January of 2024.

In the above video via ESPN MMA, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey talked earlier this year about her support of the bill.

“Everyone loves you when you’re fighting in the octagon, but will any of those people be there for you when you’re in your 90s paying the price?” said Rousey.

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