California Unanimously Approves State-Run MMA Fighter Pension Fund

The State of California has passed a bill unanimously which has created the first state-run-pension fund for MMA athletes. 

The bill was sponsored by former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Matt Haney (state representative) as the bill was passed on September 13th, 2023. Rousey was very vocal about the need to look after fighters since the sport can have long-lasting effects on athletes. 

“Your body doesn’t forget. And many times you don’t realize you’ve taken one hit too many until decades later. 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 nineties paying the price,” Rousey

Therefore, the bill will give MMA fighters access to a state pension fund once they decide to retire from the sport. This is a massive step since, prior to the bill, only boxers in California were the ones entitled to a pension fund as the other combat athletes were not included. However, in order to be eligible for this new bill, MMA fighters must have completed 39 rounds in the cage. And now the bill will be signed off by the California Governor Gavin Newsom, which can only benefit the MMA fighters moving forward. 

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