The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) will establish the world’s first retirement benefit fund for mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters under the requirements of Assembly Bill 1136 (AB 1136), signed into law Sunday, October 8, 2023, by Governor Gavin Newsom.
State Now Home to World’s Only Retirement Benefit
for MMA Fighters, Professional Boxers
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) will establish the world’s first retirement benefit fund for mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters under the requirements of Assembly Bill 1136 (AB 1136), signed into law Sunday, October 8, 2023, by Governor Gavin Newsom. The bill was authored by Assembly Member Matt Haney of San Francisco.
“On behalf of the California State Athletic Commission, I would like to extend my gratitude to Governor Newsom, Assembly Member Haney, and the Legislature for making the MMA benefit fund a reality,” said CSAC Chair Peter Villegas. “These fighters have dedicated years of their lives to the sport undergoing intense training and tough battles, while entertaining fans and inspiring future fighters. When these fighters step away from the cage and enter their later years, we want them to have that retirement check in their hands—they literally fought and earned it.”
With the new law in place, CSAC will begin outlining details surrounding the bill’s implementation in the coming months. Beginning in 2024, MMA fighters that fought in at least 39 scheduled rounds in a CSAC-sanctioned professional mixed martial art contest held in the state would be entitled to distribution of the funds when they are at least 50 years of age, with exceptions. Funding for the MMA retirement fund will be generated through multiple sources, including assessments on ticket sales. The fund does not receive any General Fund monies. CSAC also will refer to its experience with and partnerships established through the California Professional Boxer’s Pension Fund, which it has administered since 1982.
“MMA promotions have seen immense growth in the past three decades, and those fighters who came to California to compete deserve compensation in retirement,” said CSAC Executive Officer Andy Foster. “It is time MMA fighters get their share.”
For information about the retirement benefit fund for MMA fighters, and to learn more about CSAC, visit www.dca.ca.gov/csac.
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ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA STATE ATHLETIC COMMISSION: The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) regulates professional and amateur boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts throughout California by licensing all participants and supervising the events. CSAC constantly seeks methods to make combat sports safer by focusing on techniques to lessen traumatic brain injuries, educating athletes about the adverse effects of the practice of dehydration and weight cutting, regular training of inspectors and officials, and careful and thoughtful approval of professional and amateur matches. Learn more at www.dca.ca.gov/csac.
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS: The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects consumers through oversight, enforcement, and licensure of professions, and helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from unscrupulous and unqualified individuals. Consumers can verify a license and file a complaint against a licensee online at www.dca.ca.gov or by phone at (800) 952-5210.