The first rule of fight club: Don’t talk about fight club (probably because fight clubs are illegal, at least in Utah). Provo Councilwoman Kim Santiago wants to make sure everyone knows that fight clubs are a no-no.
“The sense is that people aren’t aware that it’s a law,” she said in a city council meeting this week. She said people think of fight club as a sporting activity not an illegal activity.
Utah law prohibits anyone from publicizing, promoting, conducting or engaging in club fighting — any unarmed combat in which rules aren’t approved by a state commission, where there isn’t a commission-approved doctor in attendance, in which contestants haven’t had negative HIV tests provided to the commission and in which contestants aren’t matched by state-established weight standards. It doesn’t matter if admission is charged or not. Violation of the law is a class A misdemeanor. Training sessions aren’t considered club fighting.
[pullquote]”The sense is that people aren’t aware that it’s a law. She said people think of fight club as a sporting activity not an illegal activity.” —Kim Santiago, Provo city councilwoman[/pullquote]
Santiago would like the Provo Municipal Council to pass a resolution supporting the state law. The council decided to have her work on a formal resolution that it will consider at a future meeting.
“My hope would be to raise awareness,” she said. She is also considering an awareness joint effort with the Provo City School District.
Santiago said in the past seven years, there have been 16 cases of fight clubs being broken up around the state. She didn’t have any statistics specific to Provo.
Provo police officer Lt. Brandon Post said he isn’t aware of any fight clubs happening in Provo in recent history. There were some rumors going around the local high schools about a fight club, but police weren’t able to find evidence that fights were happening.
More than a decade ago, after the release of the movie “Fight Club,” there was a fight club in Provo. According to a report in the Christian Science Monitor in 2000, the local fight club was organized — fighters wore boxing gloves and mouth guards and there were even paramedics and judges on scene. Organizers advertised the fights via a website. But that was all before state law specifically prohibited them.