Column: Pascua Yaqui Tribe on the right track with MMA
"In the realm of mixed martial arts there is always a myriad of hot-button topics for enthusiasts and critics alike to discuss

It is people like Pascua Yaqui Tribe Boxing Commissioner Ernie Gallardo who set the tone at the root levels of the sport.

The symbiotic relationship between mixed martial arts and Native American Tribes across this country is a very important and an often overlooked issue. It is refreshing to know how serious this sport is being taken, and how far certain individuals and entities go to ensure that they are on the cutting edge of the sport.

Arizona has long been a hot subject when discussing their reluctance to conform to the "universal rules", or the New Jersey Athletic Commission's rules of the sport. There are certain aspects, especially for the amateur fighter, that many view as a detriment.

For example, if a fighter is disallowed from throwing elbows, or say knees to the head, not only are they not practiced in executing those techniques in a practical fashion but they also may not be prepared to defend against them.

So if a fighter is restricted in such a fashion, if ever they do find themselves in a cage or ring fighting under the unified rules they may find themselves at a disadvantage before the bell ever rings.

It is with that in mind that it was encouraging to hear about the perception of Gallardo and his boxing commission with regard to how they regulate their MMA matches. They are on the right track in this particular area when it comes to regulating MMA on their reservation."

Get the Story:
Todd Jackson: Pascua Yaqui Boxing Commission and the WFF Improving MMA in Arizona (The Bleacher Report 4/20)