By Zach Arnold | July 23, 2014
— MMA Supremacy (@MMASupremacy) July 23, 2014
I’ll keep the details to a minimum on today’s putrid dog-and-pony show in Las Vegas for the Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting.
Vitor Belfort read a prepared statement, tried to come off as sympathetic, and was granted a new license to fight as long as he fought in Las Vegas in December against Chris Weidman. The theme of today’s meeting was all about Las Vegas and bringing fights to the town. Everything was couched in terms of “reasonableness.”
Nevada’s Executive Director Bob Bennett pushed forward the proposal of having fighters involved in championship fights send their gloves, sealed, to NSAC’s office three days before a title fight so that the front office and chief athletic inspector can examine the gloves. The gloves would then be returned to fighters at the day of weigh-ins.
Sonnen under confidentiality agreement w/ UFC says his representation / NSAC pushes & they admit bout agreement for UFC 175 for $100,000
— Ron Kruck (@rkruck) July 23, 2014
As for Chael Sonnen, a reprehensible dog-and-pony show by the NSAC commissioners before they gave Sonnen a two year suspension. When asked why he didn’t apply for a new TUE to use the drugs he got busted for, Sonnen said he had no answer. When he was asked why he had three different doctors prescribing him drugs, he had no coherent answer. Dr. TIm Trainor was practically babysitting the ill-prepared and ill-informed commissioners on the drugs Sonnen got busted on. Both Trainor and Chris Eccles from the AG’s office next year were incredulous that the majority of the focus was on the coming-off-of-testosterone drugs rather than the HGH and EPO use.
By Zach Arnold | July 18, 2014
— ?????? (@GONG_KAKUTOGI) July 18, 2014
The original event schedule for July & August for the UFC involved 10 shows over 8 weeks. With the Staples Center event canceled, we’re down to 9 shows. We’ve had three shows so far. The first two reportedly drew a million eyeballs on Fox Sports 1. The third show, this past Wednesday, didn’t do so hot. But you had to be a real hardcore fan to even know that there was a Donald Cerrone fight happening. He’s a staple on the Fox broadcast shows and was positioned for a deep cable show, so it’s not much a surprise that even for a guy as exciting as he is that few people saw his fight with Jim Miller.
We have two events left for July, then four more for August. And the aggressive schedule picks up significantly more steam in the Fall, where the shows never stop — including the UFC’s latest attempt to win in Japan, which is an experiment that I find very provocative to say the least.
Memo to all licensed by Florida’s Boxing Commission: verify your license ASAP; Florida updates only UFC licenses after our report
By Zach Arnold | July 16, 2014
I’ve heard many nightmarish stories over the years from fighters and managers who had paid for licenses at California events, only to be told at future shows that they needed to pay for a new license because the one they originally purchased was either not processed or lost. It’s infuriating that this even happens but when you have people out in the field accepting paperwork and cash, you never fully know what’s going to happen next. At this point, you may as well say the same thing if you send something directly to the front office in Sacramento.
Florida’s Boxing Commission appears, on the surface, to have licensing issues as well. After writing about the Dustin Holyko situation on Tuesday, I decided to check out the licensing process for recent events in Florida.
After Dustin Holyko debacle, time for DBPR & Tallahassee to call Andy Foster in California; 60 second search would have revealed all on Holyko
By Zach Arnold | July 15, 2014
The one and only Tom Molloy
Let’s face it, the last four years for the Florida Boxing Commission have been rough. Hell, the whole Tom Molloy era was rough. Love the mugshot. Too bad his other career highlight was fighting Tony Danza.
Molloy essentially got fired over allegations that nobody was auditing the ticket manifestos from shows happening in the state, meaning the commission was supposedly losing out on a lot of money and that other (potential) illegal activity may have been taking place. And the auditor who oversaw that investigation, Cynthia Hefren, decided to take a fat pay raise by moving on from the IG’s office to… Tom Molloy’s position at the Boxing Commission to be the bean counter.
Hefren took Molloy’s job for a $90,000 yearly salary; and Frank Gentile, who worked alongside Tom Molloy on boxing matters, found himself appointed as the Assistant Executive Officer for FBC to handle field duties (yearly salary of $56,000). Christa Patterson, who worked next to Tom Molloy at DBPR, is still on DBPR payroll for nearly $50,000 a year. And Molloy’s woman was also kept around for a while after his termination. Molloy would get arrested for domestic battery in April of 2013.
Snapshot from Leon County, FL. court document
On October 30th, 2013, Molloy plead no contest to one misdemeanor count of domestic battery. He was given 12 months of probation, 100 hours of community service, and entered into a batterers intervention program. But he was allowed to maintain consensual-peaceable contact with Jami Molloy, whom Tom met while he was working at DBPR. Interestingly enough on the court paperwork, West Palm Beach is listed despite the plea deal being entered in Tallahassee. Perhaps a confirmation of the long-standing rumors that Molloy moved to South Florida to either promote events or try to work with Don King.
What’s Molloy up to now? He got licensed by the Florida Boxing Commission to be a boxing trainer.
By Zach Arnold | July 12, 2014
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In July & August of 2014, the UFC is running 10 shows in 8 weeks. It’s beyond overkill. However, defenders of UFC’s hectic global schedule point out that you don’t have to watch all the shows. It may be worth it if UFC wants to sell the company to a mega-global conglomerate down the road but there is a domestic price to be paid for all non-major UFC events. The fact that Lorenzo Fertitta had to do damage control on Fox Sports 1 over the canceled UFC 176 Staples Center show says it all. And yet amidst the non-stop crazy calendar that UFC has created, very few women’s fights on the card. They’ve signed Holly Holm. They are considering Cyborg next for Ronda. Why are any of the foreseeable opponents for Rousey going to be stronger than 8-to-1 or 10-to-1 underdogs? They’re not. And part of the reason is that the UFC hasn’t booked enough female fights to develop prospects that can come close to fighting Ronda. At this point, the only one who has a chance of stopping Ronda is her roommate, Marina Shafir, and she’s at 145 pounds.
After UFC 175, Zuffa has a chance to hit the reset button and move on from the major names in the recent testosterone plague. However, it seems that Chael Sonnen will never go away and Vitor Belfort is next in line to fight Chris Weidman. Every time reality hits UFC in the face, they seem to double-down and press forward. They got lucky that nobody knows who Ali Bagautinov is (and the 100,000 PPV buys he drew with Demetrious Johnson for UFC 174) or else the headlines would be blaring about a second UFC fighter getting busted for EPO in the last three weeks.
There are a million unanswered questions right now that are exacerbated by the UFC’s non-stop meat-grinder of a schedule. And this week’s edition of Fight Opinion Radio covers all of those issues in-depth and with perspective.
To Zack Nelson for his past & present support of Fight Opinion Radio.
By Zach Arnold | July 9, 2014
Before all the cool kids talked about the idea of UFC oversaturating the market with events to flood out the competition, Judge Jeff and I talked about this strategy in 2009 on Fight Opinion Radio and what’s interesting is that UFC is oversaturating the market but it is not killing interest in MMA as a whole but rather interest in UFC itself for non-major events. If Bellator can do OK numbers on PPV with Rampage Jackson, they still have a chance to be a viable alternative to the McDonaldsification that UFC is going through right now.
It’s no surprise that the UFC had to cancel their August 2nd event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Ronda Rousey wasn’t going to save that show. The reality is that UFC booked three California B-level MMA events within a timespan of two months. The three TV tax checks to Andy Foster would have given him $105,000 in revenue. Given that he was allegedly UFC’s favorite guy to get the Nevada State Athletic Commission job and instead bombed the interview, it’s my opinion that the UFC obviously wanted to bring some activity back to California for Andy. The problem is that UFC cannot get any of their A-listers to work the California shows at this point, so the gates aren’t what they are in other states. And running Sacramento without Urijah Faber is utterly preposterous. Something had to give and the Staples Center show had to go. Going from Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie to Brandon Vera vs. Mauricio Shogun to Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes isn’t going to cut it at that venue.
Which brings us to Lorenzo Fertitta appearing on Fox Sports 1 for damage control. The fact that he’s having to feel the need to address the oversaturation issue means that the concern is very mainstream now. The genie is out of the bottle.
CHARISSA THOMPSON: “What happened to force the company into this decision?”
LORENZO FERTITTA: “You know, it was a very difficult to make and part of the reason that we decided to postpone it is because Jose Aldo’s injury is a neck/shoulder injury, which he’s saying he’s not going to be able to train for only three weeks. So, it was a situation where certainly he wouldn’t be ready for August 2nd but at the same time he’s not going to be out very long. So, it’s going to allow us to essentially postpone this and reschedule this event for sometime in the early to mid Fall, probably in October. We just felt like that made the most sense. In addition to that, you know, obviously on PPV events there’s typically championship bout(s) on that card. Quite frankly right now, there was nobody that could turn around quick enough to be able to fill the August 2nd slot.”
CHARISSA THOMPSON: “So you mentioned in the Fall. Do you have a definitive date in October?”
LORENZO FERTITTA: “We are working on that right now. We don’t have a definitive date yet. We do have a date set for PPV on October 27th but we haven’t decided whether or not that Jose would fall on that date or not.”
CHARISSA THOMPSON: “Will this still be held in Los Angeles?”
LORENZO FERTITTA: “No, unfortunately it won’t. That’s one of the big negatives. I know that we’re excited to go back to Staples Center. One of the issues, though, is Staples Center is probably one of the hardest arenas to book in the country because they’re so busy and by that time of the year, obviously, the professsional sports teams they have start to roll around. So, we will certainly work with them to try to find another date. But we’re not real confident that we’ll be able to accomodate that.”
CHARISSA THOMPSON: “Do you have another location in mind?”
LORENZO FERTITTA: “Right now, we have a date scheduled in Rio de Janeiro for October 27th and we’re looking at a couple of other locations for earlier in October as well to see what’s available.”
CHARISSA THOMPSON: “So, will we ever see UFC 176 or will the number be scratched completely?”
LORENZO FERTITTA: “UFC 176 will probably become a question on Jeopardy at some point as the event that never happened.”
CHARISSA THOMPSON: “Fair enough. We know obviously that fighters earn their pay on fight night. So, what happens to the rest of the fighters on this card?”
LORENZO FERTITTA: “The balance of the fight card will be dispersed amongst the various fights that we have coming up on Fox Sports 1 and/or Fox and we’re going to try to get them fights as quickly as they can because obviously we want to keep them busy and keep them active.”
CHARISSA THOMPSON: “If Aldo isn’t available, then who do you put on the card?”
LORENZO FERTITTA: “That’s a good question, you know, we’ve got some other great contenders in Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson that certainly could step up and vie for some type of an interim title. We’re going to know more in about two weeks. Aldo was told by his doctors to not do anything for three weeks. We’re about one week into that. We’re going to regroup in two weeks and, you know, if Aldo’s not going to be able to ready to go by October, then we’re going to have to sit down and see if we do an interim title and if that’s the case, you know, like I said before I mean the good thing is that we have a lot of really, really good contenders in that weight class that could challenge Chad Mendes for an interim title.”
CHARISSA THOMPSON: “Well, Lorenzo, as you’re well aware, Aldo was forced off of two other UFC cards due to injury. Does he need to do anything to tone down his training or how do you prevent this in the future?”
LORENZO FERTITTA: “Yeah, I mean, you know unfortunately sometimes you know guys just get nicks and get hurt. I think the good news is it doesn’t sound like a real serious injury to the extent that he’s going to be out for a really long time. I think if he lays off of it and obviously is very careful in his training, we’re hopeful that he’s going to be able to turn right around in October and that’s why we made this decision. But, of course, you know it’s something that all the fighters need to pay close attention to is making sure that they’re very careful with what they’re doing in training.”
CHARISSA THOMPSON: “What do you say when people ask you the question is this a sign of too many fights?”
LORENZO FERTITTA: “You know what? Um, I don’t think so. I think, you know, sometimes these come-and-go, a kind of ebb-and-flow. Last year, we went through the entire year and I don’t think we had to replace one card. You know, this year unfortunately this happened and overall at the end of the day, um, we have all of these guys coming back and I think the Fall for us, the line-up in the Fall is going to be pretty strong as all of our champions are coming back and we’ve got some loaded cards on Fox Sports 1 as well. So, we’re excited about moving forward from here.”
Chaos: Weidman-Machida go balls out, Struve faints, Ronda asked to save Staples Center August UFC show, empty seats
By Zach Arnold | July 3, 2014
On Saturday afternoon in Florida, we had the World Series of Fighting debut on NBC broadcast television. As John Nash discovered before the UFC helped pass a secrecy law in Florida, the TV deal between WSOF and NBC is a barter deal. WSOF got access but NBC isn’t paying anything out of pocket. It’s a good news/bad news scenario. At least MMA is able to get on network television, but there’s no ad campaign whatsoever to promote anything. Just filler programming in the mindset of TV suits.
The WSOF card on Saturday had one fight in particular that I was extremely interested in watching. I thought it would be the most compelling fight this weekend. Well…
- Cody Bollinger defeated Pablo Alfonso in R1 in 2′37 by choke sleeper hold.
- Melvin Guillard defeated JZ Cavalcante in R2 in 2′36 by TKO.
- Jon Fitch defeated Dennis Hallman after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Justin Gaethje defeated Nick Newell in R2 in 3′09 by TKO.
— MMA Supremacy (@MMASupremacy) July 6, 2014
Then came the UFC 175 card at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Perfect symbolism for UFC’s situation right now. Total chaos everywhere. Dana going nuts in press row and with staffers.
The amount of empty seats in this building is mind boggling. What the fuck happened?
— Ross Finkelstein (@rossfinkelstein) July 6, 2014
- Bantamweights: Urijah Faber (-1000, 10 to 1 favorite) defeated Bruce Leeroy (+700) in R3 in 1′09 with a choke sleeper hold.
- Bantamweights: Russell Doane (EVEN) defeated Marcus Brimage after 3R by split decision.
- Middleweights: Uriah Hall (-500, 5 to 1 favorite) and his busted toe defeated Thiago Santos (+375) after 3R by unanimous decision.
- Heavyweights: Stefan Struve (-160, 8 to 5 favorite) vs. Matt Mitrione (+150) was canceled due to Struve fainting backstage.
- UFC Women’s 135 pound title match: Ronda Rousey (-1000, 10 to 1 favorite) destroyed Alexis Davis (+700) in 16 seconds by TKO to retain her title.
- UFC Middleweight title match: Chris Weidman (-180, 9 to 5 favorite) defeated Lyoto Machida (+160) after 5R by unanimous decision in a gritty, gutty performance.
To show you the internal panic within UFC…
How fucking desperate is the UFC right now, putting Rousey on the spot for August 2nd. What a ridiculous plot. Embarrassing move.
— Fight_Ghost (@Fight_Ghost) July 6, 2014
In addition to Ronda, expect Faber to get asked for a quick turnaround to fight on the last-minute UFC booking at Arco Arena in Sacramento on August 30th. If you’re noticed, UFC has done their guy Andy Foster a big favor with three shows within 60 days in California. I personally consider it a political contribution of sorts with three $35,000 TV tax checks, but the flipside is that none of the A-listers are going to work any of the shows unless Ronda saves the day at Staples. And as we saw on Saturday night, she’s turning more into Brock Lesnar (big TV attraction more than a live gate attraction).
And in front of 6,500 people on Sunday night, BJ Penn was painfully put into retirement by Frankie Edgar.
By Zach Arnold | July 2, 2014
Well, well, well. It appears that it’s not only MMA’s bad boys getting permission slips to use testosterone. We knew that there were murky waters on this front in the major American sports, but now a new book on tarnished baseball star Alex Rodriguez claims that he was given an Exemption by Major League Baseball to use testosterone, the base chemical of anabolic steroids, in 2007. Rodriguez’s excuse? Hypogonadism. You don’t say. Plus he was allegedly given a pass to use a fertility drug, the same drug in question for both Chael Sonnen (UFC) and Robert Mathis (Indianapolis Colts).
The book further claims that over 100 players were granted some sort of Exemption by MLB.
What’s interesting to note right away is the contrast in the way the sports media is covering this newest development versus the lack of coverage (until now) that we’ve seen on the steroid epidemic in combat sports. Wally Matthews for ESPN New York already has written a great column on MLB’s alleged enabling of Rodriguez’s drug usage. He rightfully pointed out that if the book’s claims are true about Rodriguez getting an Exemption, then he got one after supposedly failing a drug test in 2003.
So while it may be hard to believe that a reputable doctor would diagnose low-T and prescribe testosterone to a man with the body, physical abilities, and history of Alex Rodriguez, that is precisely what happened.
A North Carolina physician, Bryan W. Smith, approved the medical exemption. Smith was the IPA — independent program administrator — appointed jointly by MLB and the MLBPA, but supposedly not answerable to either.
Requests for comment from Dr. Smith on Wednesday were rejected, and all calls were referred to MLB’s public relations department.
No wonder Steve Austin reacted the way he did recently when discussing Sonnen getting busted on two random Nevada State Athletic drug tests.
By Zach Arnold | July 1, 2014
I wanted to share with you three interesting mini-stories that I think will give you a glimpse into the turmoil right now happening with the California State Athletic Commission.
Last week, we wrote about an athletic inspector not paying attention to the trainer/chief second of GLORY kickboxer Gabriel Varga applying vaseline on the fighter’s shoulders after rubbing the petroleum substance on Varga’s head. That’s a no-no in California’s rules. I didn’t name the inspector on purpose, as I figured it was unfortunately enough for those who knew the person and what kind of ridicule there might be.
But I didn’t expect the athletic inspector to out himself on this web site and double-down by challenging me to prove the claims. Here’s Joe Ulrey challenging me to provide further evidence of the observations made.
The incident happened during the ring introductions for Gabriel Varga’s second fight on the Spike TV broadcast from the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood. Of course, if Joe had been watching Varga then he would have already known the answer to the question he asked on the site. People make mistakes and as long as you are willing to show the effort to be motivated and improve, then that’s all you can ask for. But when you have athletic inspectors showing up at events and approving shoddy tape jobs on gloves that could perhaps be hiding skinning or you have inspectors ignoring what’s going on right in front of their face on national television, it has to be called out. I called this behavior out on social media last Saturday night during the UFC’s San Antonio show when inspectors were doing anything but watching their own fighters. Same standard applies here.
And here’s a response to today’s article from the athletic inspector in question.
Don’t tug on Superman’s cape. Especially if the cape belongs to a feisty octogenarian like John Frierson, Chairman of the California State Athletic Commission. It’s amazing to see that he picks up on the political shenanigans that others half his age don’t mention at meetings. And last week’s conference call was a brilliant illustration.
By Zach Arnold | June 29, 2014
I don’t think you could have had better symbolism to represent all of UFC’s current problems than the dog’s breakfast of a doubleheader on Saturday, topped off with the cherry on the steroid sundae after Chael Sonnen reportedly tested positive for HGH, EPO, and hCG for his random Nevada State Athletic Commission drug test.
If Nevada doesn’t watch out, UFC will run more shows in Texas and Florida to stay in no-income tax venues w/o all the hassles of actual drug testing. Sorry, Tennessee.
Sonnen, a guy who copped a plea deal to mortgage fraud, has lived it up as the bad guy forever and made millions of dollars in the process. So did the UFC. They never cared about the issue of drug usage in Mixed Martial Arts. And neither did a lot of writers who wanted to be Chael’s friend or wanted to get in on the action for access.
Why are media writers bitching about Fox not telling timely truth on UFC's drug problem? You were silent for years & didn't go for jugular.
— FightOpinion (@FightOpinion) June 29, 2014
Right message, wrong messengers. And a little too late for all parties involved. On Saturday night, Fox Sports insulted their television viewers the worst way imaginable by having Karyn Bryant as the anchor for their coverage. They had two choices: go dark and ignore it or go big and be honest. Instead, FS1 chose the most cowardly way out: they announced the news of Sonnen’s EPO test result at 2 AM EST and read a canned statement in order to plug their weekly UFC Tonight show.
You know what? The Fox/UFC strategy worked. The Sonnen story didn’t trend on Twitter. Nary a peep. Didn’t explode. If you blinked, you missed it. It’s absurd that Fox cooperated with this stunt in ignoring their own UFC insider but Dana sent the message recently that Ariel Helwani is not a sacred cow.
Fox Sports made its bed long ago with the UFC. There’s a reason former ESPN’er Mike Hill was apologizing to Sonnen on camera during his horrific spin job. It was so bad, he retired a day after that performance.
Nearly two decades after Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa, Fox Sports is stuck in a marriage with a pro-steroids UFC organization that is now trying to backtrack as fast as possible. There has been damage done to the credibility of both parties but don’t expect many sports writers to jump on either party. There are many in the sports media rooting for Fox Sports 1 to neuter the mighty ESPN. Just as many are hoping for this outcome because they want to work for Fox Sports (or the UFC). Money makes the world go around.
But what about Chael Sonnen? What about all those rumors that Sonnen could have been the President of Bellator or the face of UFC when Dana White exits stage left? I still think it’s entirely possible that Sonnen will be the face of UFC management down the road. He’s the one guy who can hype a fight as good as Dana at this point for Zuffa. And it was a very quiet, silent Saturday night with Dana not being visible for either UFC event.
Prediction: Chael Sonnen will be part of UFC management within a few years and the whole drug testing controversy will simply be chalked up as Performance (Résumé) Enhancement.
40% of fighters in UFC Hall of Fame have been caught using banned substances.
— pdl (@pdlmma) July 1, 2014
Update (July 1st): Sonnen has been quietly removed from both UFC & FOX. For now. I expect he will return — and it’s interesting how much time passed before a decision was made here.
By Zach Arnold | June 24, 2014
We detailed the Sacramento front office of the California State Athletic Commission playing fast-and-loose with the rules by giving suspended, cheating manager/chief second Rodrigo Mosquera a new license only three months after his temporarily suspension was made permanent by the Athletic Commission board at a February meeting in Los Angeles. Mosquera, who was suspended due to one of his fighters last September wearing altered gloves at a boxing show, somehow managed to obtain two licenses: one as a manager and one as a second. And yet Mosquera generally operates as a chief second whenever he attends boxing events. Mosquera was suspended for his actions essentially as a chief second and yet was granted a manager’s license in May that allowed him to return to action last Saturday for the Showtime Golden Boy event at the StubHub Center in a chief second role for boxer Gary Russell Jr.
This whole episode exposed what everyone in the combat sports industry knows right now about the state of affairs in California: it is open season for cheating. And even if you do get caught cheating, the current administration is very soft on crime and will use the reasoning of “everyone has to feed their family” to justify their behavior.
- California is getting embarrassed by other states when it comes to catching fighters doping.
- The front office, with the Athletic Commission body’s approval, let a 59 year old 200 pound woman with no amateur experience box a 300-pounder on a club show.
- Gross mismatches are being approved for boxing cards; mismatches that could seriously get someone hurt
- And when a boxer like Angel Osuna gets hurt and stuck with a million dollars in medical bills, there is no sense of urgency anywhere in Sacramento to push through a new catastrophic insurance policy for under-insured fighters who could use the assistance or at least get some support from the state’s quasi-Worker’s Compensation fund. Guess who gets stuck with paying for medical bills for under-insured fighters? The state’s taxpayers do.
But those are big picture issues. At a lot of the shows in California, cheating is blatantly rampant on issues big and small. Whether it’s illegal hand-wraps, poor tape jobs, skinning gloves, binding, performance enhancers, slippery substances, you name it… it’s happening all the time. The truth is that many of the newer athletic inspectors aren’t being properly trained on how to correct these kinds of situations; and the veteran inspectors who know better let it slide because they don’t want to get on the front office’s bad side. They just care about getting booked to work events. Besides, when Consumer Affairs is allowing cheaters to get away with their behavior, what incentive is there for the veteran athletic inspectors to raise their voice and object to what is going on?
A big reason as to why such lawless behavior is being allowed at shows is because some of the veteran athletic inspectors just don’t care any more. They make excuses. They sit on their asses. They know what way the wind is blowing and figure, hey, if Che Guevara can get a job promotion to Chief Athletic Inspector in 2009 after missing Antonio Margarito’s illegal hand-wraps and volunteer inspector Robert Judge can get promoted to the role of lead athletic inspector after missing the altered gloves on a Rodrigo Mosquera fighter, there’s no price to pay for messing up. In fact, messing up seems to be a pre-requisite for getting a promotion in California now.
Which brings us to the GLORY kickboxing show this past Saturday night at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood. Spike TV aired the undercard and then there was a PPV portion. There were also amateur fights on the card, regulated by Steve Fossum’s IKF. The ISKA (International Sport Karate Association) sanctioned GLORY fights but the California State Athletic Commission itself regulated the professional fights on the card.
As one might expect on these kinds of major kickboxing events, there are plenty of fighters having chief seconds/trainers apply vaseline & liniments on their body. One fighter in particular, Gabriel Varga, had a chief second as slick as the vaseline being applied to his head.
California athletic inspector isn’t even paying attention to what’s happening in front of him
I was watching the Spike TV feed and, right in Varga’s corner, the chief second was applying vaseline on Varga’s head. The second in question slyly watched the people on the other side of the ring and, without hesitation, rubbed down vaseline on both of Varga’s shoulders after applying it to his face. Seconds & trainers pull this trick all the time on their fighters, hoping that the referees and athletic inspectors don’t catch the vaseline application and wipe the substance off with a towel like they are supposed to. As noted in the California Code of Regulations, Rule 305, one of the very basic rules that all athletic inspectors know about:
§ 305. Contestants’ Appearance.
All contestants shall be clean and present a tidy appearance. It shall be at the sole discretion of the commission or its representative to determine whether facial adornments (mustaches, goatees, excessive sideburns) and length of hair presents any potential hazard to the safety of the contestant or his or her opponent, or will interfere with the supervision and conduct of the contest. The excessive use of petroleum jelly or other similar substances shall not be permitted and such substances shall be applied to the face only. Referees or the commission representative in charge shall cause any such excessive substance to be removed.
Note: Authority cited: Section 18611, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 18640, Business and Professions Code.
In the case of Gabriel Varga, his trainer/chief second without any hesitation rubbed the vaseline both on his face and on his shoulders… right in front of an athletic inspector dead center on camera. And what was the athletic inspector doing?
Zoning off and putting his thumb under his nose. Literally.
Remember, an executive edict was issued by Executive Officer Andy Foster at the June 1st athletic inspector training session at Big John McCarthy’s gym in Southern California that all athletic inspectors must go in the ring/cage in between rounds to look directly at fighters rather than standard protocol of examining fighters & corner men on the ring apron/skirt. There’s no proof that this executive edict will improve fighter safety, but it doesn’t matter. Some of the athletic inspectors are following the executive edict and others are not. Nobody cares.
As the old saying goes, if you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying. At California shows now, everyone is cheating and the regulators aren’t trying to stop it. Even when it’s front of their face, they still don’t see what’s going on and are thumbing their nose at doing their job.
Fight Opinion Radio featuring Monte Cox’s words of wisdom on negotiating with the UFC: the good, the bad, and the ugly
By Zach Arnold | June 23, 2014
Monte Cox, the manager of MMA champions
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Gary Russell’s chief second, Rodrigo Mosquera, allowed by Andy Foster to return 4 months after CSAC upheld suspension for altering gloves
By Zach Arnold | June 21, 2014
At an All-Star Boxing event last September in Montebello, California, Mosquera was caught with a fighter named Ricardo Rodriguez using altered boxing gloves for a fight. The referee, Lou Moret, caught the altered gloves in time and replacement gloves were issued. MMA inspector Chris Crail and volunteer boxing inspector Robert Judge missed the altered gloves. Crail took heat for the incident while Judge was summarily promoted to the role of a lead athletic inspector in Southern California under circumstances eerily similar to how Che Guevara got promoted in 2009 after missing the illegal hand wraps of Antonio Margarito before his fight against Shane Mosley at the Staples Center.
Mosquera and Rodriguez received temporary suspension letters in the mail from Andy Foster in late November. The disclosure of these letters were not made public until the afternoon of December 13, 2013. That same day, athletic inspectors were sent to work a Golden Boy event at Fantasy Springs in Indio, California. Apparently no on the ground knew what was going on because Rodrigo Mosquera appeared at that televised card and was given a new seconds license, which lasts for a full year. This information was publicly released by the Athletic Commission on January 4th, 2014.
Mosquera worked despite being temporarily suspended by the California State Athletic Commission. Mosquera would go on to work a late January Golden Boy event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn while claiming that he had not been notified of his temporary California suspension despite the fact that we wrote about this publicly in mid-December. Mosquera appealed his temporary suspension in mid-January on the grounds that he had not been properly notified.
Mosquera was originally summoned to attend a December meeting for the California State Athletic Commission at Consumer Affairs HQ in Sacramento. Instead, he ended up appearing at a February 10th CSAC meeting in Los Angeles. At that meeting, Andy Foster inexplicably recommended that both Rodriguez and Mosquera be given time served and suspensions lifted. As noted by the official meeting minutes, Mosquera was suspended the maximum fine of $2,500 and iced until his commission license expired.
Remember, he was supposedly given a new license at the December 2013 Golden Boy show (according to athletic commission documentation from January 2014).
After the suspension, Mosquera was allegedly in attendance at a boxing event in Montebello in which athletic inspectors such as Dave Rasmussen had to read Mosquera the riot act for giving a fighter advice from the audience.
Fast-forward to Saturday, June 21st at a Golden Boy event at StubHub Center in Southern California. The event was part of a telecast for Showtime. One of the fights on the card featured Gary Russell Jr. vs. Vasyl Lomachenko. Russell Jr. fought at the Golden Boy event at Barclays last January. He is one of Rodrigo Mosquera’s fighters. Mosquera was spotted at the StubHub Center wrapping Gary Russell Jr’s hands for his fight. People at the show were stunned, given that Mosquera’s license suspension was upheld by the Athletic Commission board in February.
It turns out that approximately three months after that February meeting, Rodrigo Mosquera was granted a new manager’s license by Andy Foster. According to Athletic Commission documentation dated June 19th, Rodrigo Mosquera was issued a new manager’s license on May 15th. The manager’s license was issued by the Sacramento front office. There was no hearing in front of the Athletic Commission board to determine whether or not Mosquera, who had been suspended by the Athletic Commission for cheating, should be granted a new manager’s license after what transpired last September.
— WBO (@WorldBoxingOrg) June 22, 2014
Russell, entering the fight with a record of 24-0, fought Lomachenko whose record was 1-1. It was a WBO Featherweight title fight. As The Big Lead wrote about Lomachenko, this amateur boxing legend is about to have the biggest pro fight of his life. Russell was dominated by Lomachenko.
Gary Russell is gonna have to live with this reality: first good fighter he fought he got hammered
— Rich Marotta (@boxingrich) June 22, 2014
Lisa Giampa is the judge who scored the Lomachenko/Russell fight 114-114. Pat Russell and Max DeLuca scored it 116-112. Ridiculous.
— FightOpinion (@FightOpinion) June 22, 2014
If Russell had won two more rounds, it would have been a majority draw on the score cards…