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After UFC San Jose Arena event, will Florida offer their commission job to Andy Foster?

By Zach Arnold | July 26, 2014

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Robbie Lawler & Matt Brown pretty much fought the kind of battle that you expected to see. Lawler winning a five round unanimous decision is no surprise. Neither was Anthony Johnson pummeling Little Nogueira in a showcase squash death match. Tailor made fights. There weren’t many surprises on the preliminary or main card fights that aired on Fox broadcast network Saturday night. The only minor surprise to note involved the scorecards for the Patrick Cummins/Kyle Kingsbury fight. The influence of Andy Foster was very clear. He is not a proponent of 10-10 or 9-9 rounds but is aggressive in pushing for more 10-8 rounds. And that’s what happened to Kingsbury, who got dominated so badly that he retired after his fight with Cummins.

All things considered, nothing earth-shattering came out of the UFC show in San Jose except for perhaps the Bobby Green performance against Josh Thomson. Thomson got screwed over earlier in the year and he didn’t rebound well enough on home soil this time around. Dave Meltzer said advanced ticket sales were, at best, average. The claimed attendance was a little over 11,000 but only a $735,000 gate? $65/head for a UFC show is very low for Zuffa. The juxtaposition of seeing Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier, two San Jose stars, on TV but not fighting was rather telling about the state of affairs with major California fight cards. The big boys don’t want to fight in the state right now.

The one big political story, if you want to call it that, coming out of the San Jose Arena show were the reports that the wannabe police goons from the Division of Investigation department of Consumer Affairs were there to audit the UFC show on behalf of Sacramento politicians. And the audit made a lot of decision makers paranoid. An estimated 30+ people (officials, athletic inspectors, doctors) were there to work the show on behalf of the Athletic Commission. Mark Relyea, the Southern California lead inspector who is Andy’s go-to guy, had called up as many people from Southern California as possible to work the San Jose show. When I say call up, I mean having athletic inspectors who worked events in Los Angeles and San Diego on Friday night drive up after working a late night and work a Saturday afternoon. Key word: drive. Not fly.

The over-staffing was a complete overkill. I counted 13 different athletic inspectors on camera for the fights that aired on Fox. Mark made sure to get as much TV time as possible on the main card. He knows how to put on a show. I normally expect sartorial splendor from inspectors like Chris Crail and Gil Urbano but it was very clear that the inspectors were told to dress well and not look like slobs on camera. It showed. Everyone was on their p’s and q’s.

The wannabe cops from DOI, when it comes to combat sports knowledge, don’t know much. But they have the rule books and watch carefully what is going on. The audit was no state secret. As one veteran stated to me, “It’s like the IRS giving you a heads up a year in advance so you can cover yourself.” Apparently, a majority of the fighters were drug tested. Anyone who knows how Andy Foster has operated for past events knows that drug testing, especially when it comes to California athletic inspector training sessions, has not exactly been priority number one.

When Armando Garcia was pulling in $2 million dollars a year as Executive Officer, he would run max crews of around 14 inspectors — but that was entirely dependent on the layout of an arena and the locker rooms. And he sure drug tested everyone. Nothing slipped through the cracks. California isn’t pulling $2 million dollar years now. And of all the event promoters that produce events, no one comes close to running a show like Marc Ratner and UFC. You have to go out of your way to really screw the pooch and mess things up. The amount of staffing for the Athletic Commission was way over the top on Saturday and was vastly different than previous staffing protocols for other recent UFC events in the state.

Which tells you everything that you need to know about that DOI audit and how paranoid it made the front office in Sacramento. Obviously they wanted to put their best foot forward but it will definitely impact the budget for sure. Quite a bit.

Which leads us to the interesting situation in Florida. There are rumors that a shake-up in the front office of the Florida Boxing Commission has happened or will be happening soon. Florida is a lot closer to Atlanta than Sacramento is. Perhaps an exit strategy has opened up for Andy Foster… if he wants it. And that’s a big if. Andy is a big part of the Association of Boxing Commissions and they are having their conference right now in Tampa. Will Tallahassee make an offer to Andy Foster at the convention? Would he take the job? Florida doesn’t have the spotlight like California right now but there are a lot of factors in which Andy could turn Florida into a major athletic commission and a powerhouse. Plus, the UFC has poured a lot of money recently into Florida and it’s clear that they have big plans for the state. It may be easier down the road to get some A-listers to fight in Florida cards rather than California due to the state income tax issues.

Guess who’s going to open up the ABC Tampa festivities on Monday? Ken Lawson of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation from Tallahassee. Andy will be there in attendance.

Main results from UFC 7/26/2014 San Jose Arena event: – April 29, 2013, Senate floor session – Sept 6, 2013, Lieu floor session (4 hrs, 37 minutes) – Sept 9, 2013, Lieu floor session (3 hrs, 51 minutes)

Topics: CSAC, Florida, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 6 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

6 Responses to “After UFC San Jose Arena event, will Florida offer their commission job to Andy Foster?”

  1. turd says:

    zak i agree with you , i really thinkt he ufc is on a

    downward spiral. as a long time mma fan, who used to even

    buy shows from japan like k-1, shooto, etc, i havent watched

    a full mma show now in a very long time. what made mma great

    is no longer there.

  2. Kid Nate says:

    No comment on the Matt Brown weigh-in snafu? Any thoughts on the CSAC’s role in that?

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    The show once again didn’t do good in the rating. The 1st half hour did 1.55 Million viewers. Considering that it had a 2 hour prelim lead-in, that is horrible….

  4. King Famous says:

    I really enjoy the fox cards. I DVr the show take a nap. Whenever I wake up or whenever we get in for the night I watch the card and fast forward what I deem is crap. I would say out of the three or four hours of show I watch 30-40 mins.
    On a slightly different note and I don’t know how this would apply but usually when I stay loyal to certain brands the brand reciprocates with either a sale, a package deal, or something that makes me feel like the time and money ive Invested has been recognized. I’m not looking for hand outs, but with the UFC I feel like the attitude is thank you and fuck you very much. Maybe I should just sign up for fight pass. Anyone think fight pass is worth it?

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    Rumors going around that SpikeTV will not be renewing TNA’s contract.

    We know that kickboxing has been doing poorly on the station as well.

    This makes for an interesting position for Bellator. They already axed Bjorn, which means they were not happy with the way things were going. Will they try and move them to Thursday nights? Or will they be a 1 show per month sort of company?

    Things should get interesting.

  6. Please Florida give Andy “No Clue” Foster a job. We don’t want him here in California. I also see the many letters I wrote to DCA and Senators is paying off. They got a good eye on this corrupt CSAC.


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