Change on the horizon; TDLR meets with fight community March 24th in Houston
Houston, TX, March 25, 2014 – The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has come under the microscope as of late due to mounting controversies and ensuing complaints from members of the Texas fight community. Texas fight fans can rest assured that TDLR cares. The main regulatory body for combat sports in the state recently hosted a town hall-style open hearing where people were invited to voice their opinions on how to help the TDLR be a better agency. The first in a series of three meetings took place in Houston, Texas on Monday, March 24th.
The first hearing was hosted by Brian Francis, the Executive Deputy Director of the TDLR and the regulatory body’s second in command and two other high-ranking officials who met with those in attendance to discuss everything that the TDLR is doing wrong and how things can be improved. The TDLR officials talked with members of the Texas MMA community for over three hours, and took the complaints being expressed seriously. Houston’s fight scene was well represented, by promoters, fighters, coaches, fans and members of the press in attendance all coming together in hopes of improving how combat sports are handled in Texas.
It was good to see people like Mick Maynard, Collin Cantrell, Chris Reed, Jeremy Mahon, Christian Sutton, Patrick Patlan and many others coming together in order to bring attention to the problems currently plaguing the Texas combat sports scene. The meeting was overall positive and awareness was raised on many issues that those within the scene have long been complaining about. We encourage our readers to look up when the next hearing will be and go show support for Texas MMA. The members of TDLR hosting the hearing wanted to impress upon everyone there that they’re here to help drive the industry forward not hinder its progress.
Some of the main points discussed during the meeting included:
- Disambiguating rule 61.30
- Establishing 5 minute rounds as a norm in Texas
- Allowing for Pro-Amateur mixed cards
- Holding TDLR officials accountable for abuse of power
- Not allowing officials to take lunch breaks while fighters are waiting to weigh-in after grueling weight cuts
- Creating continuing education courses for TDLR officials
- Opening channels of communication between the TDLR and people in the industry
The TDLR has already begun opening channels of communication with the people they serve. Aside from open hearings like the one we just attended, the TDLR has also created a website (http://imagine.tdlr.texas.gov/) for people to sound off with comments, questions and complaints. All in all we feel as if the TDLR is taking steps in the right direction and it intends to run a tighter ship so that some of the questionable actions of the past don’t happen again.
Check out this interview with TDLR Executive Deputy Director Brian Francis where we discuss the overall takeaways from the meeting: