Column: MMA Records Should Be Just THAT (Charles Jay)


From … There is an issue that is especially important now that the Association of Boxing Commissions has now appointed a designated official “record-keeper” for mixed martial arts (you can find them at Which fights are MMA and which aren’t?

I ask that because already, I have found at least one competitor in mixed martial arts who has been penalized for competing in something that, arguably, ISN’T mixed martial arts, or to be more specific, isn’t mixed martial arts as we know it, and as athletic commissions know it, in the U.S. today.

Vernon White is a perfect example. White started to fight professionally for the Pancrase organization in Japan, and while he was there, he compiled a record of 8-17-1. But competing in actual MMA bouts, with actual MMA rules, in America and elsewhere, he is 18-15-1, which is a substantially different mark. Officially, however, White sports a record, as it is listed at sources such as and Sherdog, of 26-32-2, and as a result he has been trying to get fights in California and other places without much success.

White is caught in a precarious trap – the way his record is referenced by boxing commissions, such as California, it shows 60 pro fights, which makes him “too experienced” to fight against competitors with ten fights or less (a conversation with Armando Garcia of the California commission more or less confirmed this), but at the same time, because he shows a losing record by that same standard, he isn’t considered an attractive enough “sell” to get fights with the kind of world-class opponents needs to vault himself back into more lucrative bouts.

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