Let's start with a brief timeline of the events surrounding the scheduled Shine Fights show:
- The event was originally announced to be taking place at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. It was to feature an 8 man lightweight tournament with the fans serving as first round matchmakers.
- Word then broke that Shine would be moving the event to Oklahoma, stating that the idea of fans deciding the matches didn't sit well with the Virginia Athletic Commission. Remember that reasoning, we'll be coming back to it in a few minutes.
- Shine released the following statement via press release:
Shine Fights CEO Devin Price has decided to move the MMA promotional firm's Sept 10 Grand Prix Tournament to First Council Casino in Newkirk, OK in the wake of questionable treatment by the Virginia state athletic commission.
"I was given verbal approval for our Sept 10 event by the Virginia state commission 32 days prior to the fight date." said Price. "The commission did not express any problems with our event until certain members of the MMA community accused Shine of having reneged on our responsibilities following the cancelation of our May 15, 2010 "Worlds Collide: Ricardo Mayorga-Din Thomas" fight card in Fayetteville, NC. The Virginia commission was understandably concerned, but instead of allowing us to prove the concerns were unfounded, they refused to provide a license. And we could have proved this since on Friday [Sept 3] the North Carolina commission ruled that Shine HAD met all its obligations from the May 15, 2010 event.
By putting the show in a Native American reservation they were looking to avoid sanctioning by the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission.
- Oklahoma officials came out saying that they were looking to get an injunction to keep the event from taking place expressing concerns over fighter safety and payments when operating in an unregulated environment.
- Finally Virginia cleared up the confusion about why they decided not to allow the event to take place in their state as originally planned when they told Sherdog:
The Virginia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Program’s decision to deny Shine Fights a promoter’s license last Friday was based on the promotion’s inability to provide mandatory documents, including evidence of a surety bond to cover fighters’ purses, said Mary Broz-Vaughan, director of communications for the Dept. of Professional and Occupational Regulation.
Shine was either late or unable to provide complete medical records and test results, as well as fighters’ professional records, said Broz-Vaughan.
Not turning in paperwork was, of course, the second part of why the last planned Shine Fights event fell apart at the last moment. The last event was planned to be headlined by a fight between multiple time boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga and MMA veteran Din Thomas. Don King blocked Mayorga's involvement at the last minute citing his boxing contract. Then, despite Shine saying the event would go on, it was revealed that they had not posted the surety bond to cover the fighters' purses. Same situation, different event.
I'm sure there will be many more developments in this story over the next few days and SB Nation will update this stream with those updates as they become available.