2 accused of mounting unsanctioned MMA matches in Phoenix
PHOENIX — Two men have been charged for allegedly staging unsanctioned mixed martial arts matches in metro Phoenix last year.
Roland Sarria and Todd Whitmoyer were charged on April 26 in Maricopa County for their suspected involvement in unsanctioned combat sporting events.
The Arizona Department of Gaming said Monday it found the men did not have a license or provide a doctor at separate events in Phoenix and Glendale in September.
Both face four misdemeanor charges that could lead to fines and up to four months in jail per violation.
“It’s our duty to protect the integrity of these sports, the unarmed combatants and the public,” Director Ted Vogt said in a statement.
“We do this by ensuring that individuals engaged in unsanctioned unarmed combat events are held accountable in a court of law.”
The Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission said it must regulate all amateur and professional MMA matches.
“Unarmed combat sports are highly regulated competitions that require careful oversight to ensure the safety of the combatants and the spectating public, as well as a fair competition and impartial result,” Executive Director Francisco Meneses, Jr. said in a statement.
“Unsanctioned events pose a physical danger to fighters and the public alike and compromise the integrity of combat sports.”
Sarria told the Associated Press he was not aware anyone was pressing charges and declined further comment.
Whitmoyer did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Sarria is the founder of Rage In the Cage fights in Arizona.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar and the Associated Press contributed to this report.