Markwayne Mullin, the lying Oklahoma congressman who was born with a silver pipe wrench in his mouth, is making the most of his now-not-so-limited time in Washington.
Last week, he apparently made a fool of himself during a subcommittee hearing on new legislation that will regulate MMA. At least that’s what MMA experts are saying.
A second hearing on the expansion of boxing’s Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act into MMA took place Thursday morning in the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee.
Important testimony was given on the structure of the industry regarding fighter compensation, rankings, financial disclosures, the intentions behind the original Ali Act for boxing and traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy from sub-concussive head trauma.
But the testimony was somewhat marred by a particular tactic used in Representative Markwayne Mullin’s (R-OK) questioning – himself a former MMA fighter and the sponsor of the proposed bill H.R. 44.
That’s a relief. Usually when Oklahoma congressmen and Senators “marr” something on Capitol Hill it has to do with an important topic like the environment, healthcare or taxation. I guess it’s good Markwayne is wasting his time on a violent sport that only affects a few thousand people.
Here’s the part that he marred:
Upon returning from the recess, Representative Mullin addressed Ratner saying, “You made a statement that you said boxers and MMA fighters are treated the same,” to which Ratner immediately added, “By commissions, yes.”
“So is the ranking system the same?” Representative Mullin asked. When Ratner stumbled in his answer, Representative Mullin responded, “If you’re saying they’re treated the same, that’s an awful broad statement.”
Ratner again tried to point out that his original statement was “from a regulator point of view, from a commission point of view.”
In a reply that made little sense, Representative Mullin said: “Well, you’re talking about the safety of the fighter. We’re talking about the ranking, and the Ali Act doesn’t deal with the safety of it. It deals with the financial disclosures of it. So when you make that broad statement, let’s be narrow because this is a hearing on the legislation on H.R. 44; that’s what this is about. We’re not talking about the safety, which is important. We’re talking about what the Ali Act does and doesn’t. So when you say that a boxer and an MMA fighter is treated the same, is the ranking system the same, yes or no?”
It’s one thing to take Ratner’s direct response to a question on MMA and boxing regulation and characterize it as a “broad statement” in a pretext to ask non-regulatory questions, but Representative Mullin – after pointing out recent situations in which low or unranked fighters such as Michael Bisping, Dan Henderson and Georges St-Pierre were given title shots over their higher-ranked peers – later instructed Ratner that he should’ve clarified what was already a very clear statement.
That was disappointing. I was hoping Mullen would throw a snowball at the MMA guy. That’s a tame marring by Oklahoma political standards.
Anyway, if this stuff actually interests you, you can watch a video of the exchange below. Maybe when Congress gets done making sure MMA fights are regulated, they can do something about the college athletes who earn billions of dollars for universities but don’t get paid.