The California Amateur Martial Arts Organization (CAMO) was voted to be the governing body for amateur MMA in California by the California State Athletic Commission. Prior to this vote amateur MMA was basically illegal and the only events were “smokers” held at gyms. CAMO’s policies and fees are essentially putting an end to something that never truly existed in the state and is forcing young fighters to go pro well before they are ready.
CAMO is run by Jeremy Lappen and JT Steele of the now defunct EliteXC. According to their website, “CAMO is a non-profit corporation dedicated to help foster the growth of the sport of amateur Mixed Martial Arts and to oversee the health, safety and welfare of the athletes that choose to participate in it.” Sadly I do not see them fostering anything, rather I see them hindering the growth of the sport. First off the amateur fighter that usually takes his paycheck straight to the gym in order to pay for the training is now required by law to register with state. This does not seem terribly erroneous until you read what is required to register. Registration costs each fighter $100 and then they are required to pay $125 for a physical and blood work. This is a total of $225 before they are even allowed to fight. Remember, these are fighters that do not get paid to fight and as I stated already they spend most of their money on school or dojo fees.LINK