The Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF) has had a tough week with Cage Warriors criticizing decisions and lack of transparency with their handling of a planned Cage Warriors 71 event. Today, SMMAF went public with their meeting held yesterday to announce that the SMMAF “Board has decided to immediately dissolve the pro-committee partly to Committee failed in its efforts both to regulatory and Rules of Procedure of the Committee has not been clear enough.”
“The Board takes over pro-Committee’s role and responsibilities until further notice” the meeting’s notes reflect. The card, a debut in Sweden and only the 2nd in the Nordics, has been moved to Amman, Jordan instead of planned in Stockholm, Sweden.
The UK promotion and SMMAF were working towards getting all of the main card bouts approved for Unified Rules, but SMMAF’s apparent lack of communication and transparency on decisions led Cage Warriors CEO Graham Boylan to call the situation “absolutely absurd” and pull the event three weeks prior to the planned August 23rd event at Solnahallen.
The stacked main card proposed was as follows:
Jack Hermansson (8-2) versus Cheick Kone (11-3) – Title Bout
Martin Svensson (13-5) versus Dave Hill (12-3)
Pannie Kianzad (5-0) versus Alexandra Buch (8-3)
Jonatan Westin (6-2) versus Jack Mason (28-13)
Frantz Slioa (4-0) versus Liam James (8-6)
The Pro Committee, which has the responsibility of allowing or not allowing bouts to proceed under unified rules based on the experience of the fighters, only allowed the Martin Svensson versus Dave Hill bout to be fought with Unified Rules. The remaining 4 main card bouts were only approved for Swedish Pro Rules without elbows, foot stomps, and upkicks. Cage Warriors says it was promised that the main card would be under unified rules, as they did not want to “dilutes” the sport and the brand, however SMMAF both come up with objections to matchups and the use of the same rules used by every UFC match in Sweden.
“We’ve done everything we were asked of, and yet it seemingly comes down to two persons on the pro committee, who for some reason have decided to vote no to these fights. Honestly, it makes me rather uncomfortable, and it does raise quite a few questions, when they accept only one fight under these rules (Martin Svensson vs Dave Hill, ranked 152 and 164 respectively by Fightmatrix.com), while for instance an absolute elite WMMA fight in the Featherweight division between the World’s number 5, Pannie Kianzad, and the World’s number 11, Alexandra Buch, was turned down. How does that make sense?” said Cage Warriors Head of Operations in Scandinavia Tue Trnka
With the use of Unified Rules in every single bout held at the last two UFC events, it became apparent that there was not an even playing field or stated requirements for experience or even matchups. It seems the next step for SMMAF is to document and make this more transparent. “The Board has decided to revise the regulatory framework surrounding the pro-Committee” states the meeting from yesterday’s meeting, where they will put together a new proposal regarding membership of the committee (5 members with 2 alternates) and rules. It was also noted they would be made available in English.
“Well, that was fast! Of course, something drastic had to happen, as these guys’ actions seemed highly questionable. To this day, I still haven’t been informed about why my applications for the four main card fights were turned down, and surely they couldn’t plead the fifth on this one. Of course, I wish this would’ve happened much sooner, as the local fighters have suffered a major loss. Over all, though, I honestly believe this is for the good of Swedish MMA.” says Trnka to MMAViking.com upon hearing the decision.