- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - When “The Ultimate Fighter” returns to Florida, the public won’t be able to find out the results before episodes air.

The Legislature passed a bill Thursday providing a public records exemption to Ultimate Fighting Championship for when it tapes episodes of the reality television show in the state.

“The Ultimate Fighter” taped its 21st season in South Florida last year. When fights were conducted at the gyms of American Top Team in Coconut Creek and Blackzilians in Boca Raton, results were automatically available through the Florida Boxing Commission before the episodes aired because they were the sanctioning body. The UFC discovered the “glitch” before fans did.

The show has been filmed internationally, but Florida was the first U.S. location besides Las Vegas in the show’s 10-year history.

Mike Britt, who is UFC’s vice president of business development and government affairs, said in an email to The Associated Press that Florida has been a great venue for mixed martial arts events and “that the bill gives clarification to all promoters to effectively publicize their content without results of taped matches being known before their scheduled airing.”

Sen. Travis Hutson, who sponsored the bill, said it is an extension of some of the work he did two years ago in cleaning up some of Florida’s “archaic” regulations. Two years ago, Hutson helped pass a bill protecting proprietary information for boxing and MMA such as advance ticket sales, gross receipts after a match and a list of vendors contracted to a promoter.

“Those that love the show and events should realize there is going to be an increase in business here and that we are encouraging them to come,” Hutson said.

The House version of the bill, which was passed in the Senate with a 35-5 vote, now heads to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott to sign.

One of those who voted against it was Sen. Jeff Clemens, even though part of the filming took place in Palm Beach County.

“Now we’re doing a public records exemption because we don’t want a reality TV show from having its results revealed before the show airs? I think that’s the wrong reason do a records exemption,” he said.

UFC will conduct its 10th event in Florida on April 16 when a seven-bout card takes place in Tampa.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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