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GLORY’s Gabriel Varga has vaseline on shoulders while California athletic inspector thumbs his nose

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.

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.

Topics: CSAC, Media, Zach Arnold | 16 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

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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Time length of this week’s show: 48 minutes (22 MB MP3)

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Topics: Fight Opinion Radio, Jeff Thaler, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold, podcasts | 3 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

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

The on-going saga of suspended California boxing trainer Rodrigo Mosquera continues, thanks to decisions made by Andy Foster as Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission.

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.

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.

If Russell had won two more rounds, it would have been a majority draw on the score cards…

Topics: Boxing, CSAC, Media, Zach Arnold | 3 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

California State Athletic Commission appointee, mother of pitcher Kyle Lohse, caught up in huge tribal $ dispute w/ armed guards

By Zach Arnold | June 20, 2014

One year ago, Governor Jerry Brown’s office appointed Leslie Lohse, the mother of baseball pitcher Kyle Lohse, to the California State Athletic Commission board. Here was our reaction & background information on the political appointment. Lohse, who was the treasurer of the Paskenta Band of Nomiaki Indians in Tehama County (a couple of hours north of Sacramento), was someone who might have been viewed as an asset to help the Athletic Commission negotiate with tribes running combat sports events without CSAC regulation. In other words, there was an internal belief in some Sacramento circles that she could have helped out with venues like Lemoore (Tachi Palace) in getting CSAC oversight of events back on track.

Lohse also was involved in the debate over online gambling, politicking against New Jersey’s online gambling efforts. Here is a glowing online profile of Lohse.

Instead of being an active player at CSAC meetings, Lohse vanished in a hurry and mysteriously never was brought into the Athletic Commission fold. And now we know why. The reasons are explosive.

The Sacramento Bee reported on Friday that a judge has issued a temporary restraining order against rival, armed factions at the Rolling Hills Casino that Lohse was heavily involved in making a success. Lohse was reportedly suspended as treasurer after being accused by tribal Chairman Andy Freeman of embezzling a lot of money & misusing the Paskenta tribe’s jet. The judge issuing the TRO is apparently on the side of new management. The superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Central California continues to recognize Lohse as the tribe’s treasurer while the mediation process between the two rival factions takes place.

The story of the armed stand-off between the two tribal factions has been heavily covered in the Red Bluff, Redding, I-5 area of Northern California. The situation is disastrous and comes on the heels of the violence in Modoc County, the state’s sparsely-populated Northeastern county. Here’s Courthouse News:

The General Council also removed four of the five members of the Tribal Council – Leslie Lohse, David Swearinger, Geraldine Freeman and Allen Swearinger – leaving only Chairman Andy Freeman.

The General Council elected four new members to replace those who left. The Tribal Council is now led by Andy Freeman, who secured the casino with hired, armed security, according to the Observer.

The four ousted members maintain that they are the duly elected Tribal Council of the Paskenta Band and have established their own Tribal Court and Tribal Police Department.

Andy Freeman also made hacking allegations against suspended tribal members. The suspended tribal members have allegedly attempted to shut down Rolling Hills Casino. In the RB Daily News article, a former sheriff is quoted as saying that the suspended tribal members wanted to shut the casino down to stop the flow of money to the new tribal leaders.

It’s no wonder that Lohse never showed up for the Athletic Commission. And it’s a demonstration of the kind of politicking in Sacramento that has created a chaotic regulatory climate in the state for combat sports. Nobody knows what the hell is going on.

Topics: Boxing, CSAC, MMA, Media, Zach Arnold | No Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

Nevada’s circus: Wanderlei Silva & diuretics, anti-inflammatories, and commission morality cops

By Zach Arnold | June 17, 2014

Today’s Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing was every bit the circus we thought it would be. And the UFC aired coverage of the Athletic Commission on their pay web site.

During the disciplinary hearing for one fighter in particular, it was revealed that he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance after drinking milkshakes and that he was drinking the shakes for a stronger abdomen and shoulders. To which Skip Avansino remarked that he knows from experience that drinking milkshakes is not a way to firm up your abdomen.

In regards to the “fact-finding” hearing about Wanderlei Silva not cooperating with the random blood/urine Nevada drug test, it was revealed by his representative that he was using diuretics and anti-inflammatories at the time he was asked to take the test.

“He was surprised for the first time in his career,” noted his representative at the hearing.

Wanderlei originally was going to fight on UFC’s May card but was pushed back to the July card due to a wrist injury. In a brutally-efficient presentation by both Executive Bob Bennett and the drug tester, Wanderlei Silva took a beating.

The drug collector tried to find Wanderlei Silva and initially couldn’t. The phone numbers he was given for both Mr. and Mrs. Silva were off by a digit, so the numbers he called were bad ones and disconnected. So he communicated with Bob Bennett and eventually headed to Silva’s house, where no one was home but a dog was barking. The collector eventually went to Wanderlei’s gym and meet with a person at the front desk, who led him to Wanderlei and a group of people who were eating and taking photos. The tester asked Wanderlei if he would cooperate to give a blood and urine sample and Wanderlei allegedly said he would do so. Wanderlei exited out of the gym after the tester waited around, thinking that Silva perhaps was taking a shower after the training workout.

The collector reached Mrs. Silva and tried to find Wanderlei but was told he might have been at the MGM Grand or doing media interviews. She wasn’t sure where he was. The drug collector reached out to Bob Bennett, who was at a meeting, and eventually Marc Ratner was contacted about what had happened and the rest is history.

Continue reading this article here…

Topics: Boxing, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 13 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

Rethinking UFC’s 50-state regulatory policy after recent athletic commission follies

By Zach Arnold | June 13, 2014

UFC fighter Diego Sanchez has benefited in the past from the score cards of round-stealing-friendly judges, just like Leonard Garcia. When Sanchez was booked against Ross Pearson in Albuquerque, New Mexico last Saturday night, your mind told you that Pearson would outpoint him but your heart told you that some way, some how, Sanchez would get a decision win and all hell would break loose.

After watching Pearson dominate Sanchez for three rounds, my first thought for Sanchez was how much longer would he be allowed to fight. Retirement. Forget the possibility of winning his fight on the cards. Sanchez is a guy who simply needs to get out of the cage before he suffers any further trauma. Gilbert Melendez pounded him in Houston and Ross Pearson simply outworked him in Albuquerque.

Then came the score cards. One judge right scored the bout 30-27 in favor of Pearson. A second judge scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Sanchez. A third judge scored the fight 30-27… in favor of Sanchez. And all hell broke loose or as much hell broke loose as possible for a lower-tier Lightweight fight. The UFC vowed to treat Pearson as if he won the fight but the damage was done. The cat calls on social media, where UFC dominates trending topics, were vociferous. Between the lousy judges and cringe-worthy officiating from Raul Porrata, New Mexico did its best to cement a reputation as one of the worst athletic commissions in the United States.

Any experienced fight fan understands that the majority of athletic commissions stink. They simply are money collectors and chaperones at events. You can count on your hand the number of competent athletic commissions in the States: Pennsylvania w/ Greg Sirb, New Jersey w/ Nick Lembo, and Tennessee w/ Jeff Mullen. You can also throw in Mike Mazzulli at Mohegan Sun. That’s it.

Continue reading this article here…

Topics: Boxing, CSAC, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 7 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

With Chael Sonnen suspended, the UFC’s testosterone enabling has gone full circle; horrific spin control on FS1

By Zach Arnold | June 10, 2014

Chael Sonnen’s suspension is all the talk on Twitter

So, remember the claim that if Chael Sonnen had to get off of testosterone (anabolic steroids) that he was going to shrivel up and die?

Old habits die hard.

After going on UFC (Pravda) Tonight on Fox Sports 1 and trashing Wanderlei Silva for running away from his Nevada drug test, Chael Sonnen has reportedly failed his Nevada drug test. Does he deserve brownie points for taking his test and then failing, like Vitor Belfort did in early February?

The Vitor Belfort/Chael Sonnen match for UFC 175 in July is off. And who knows if Belfort will go through the process of getting licensed next week in Las Vegas. Brett Okamoto of ESPN has all the details here.

A couple of takeaways: 1) it’s amazing how just a “random” drug test is catching all the users, especially when the tests are done when the fighter is present in Nevada; 2) it’s amazing that the known testosterone users aren’t smart enough to avoid detection and get off the drugs; 3) if Nevada can catch guys this easy, why is this not happening in California where so many fighters reside? They’re not even testing all the fighters on cards now. And at a recent athletic inspector’s meeting in Southern California, they apparently just ran out of time to go over the drug testing issue.

Everything I said about the testosterone plague being pushed or enabled by UFC is coming back to bite Zuffa in the ass. Seriously, you didn’t need a PhD to see this coming and yet so many people in MMA have been in complete denial about what was happening. They’re now in a state of shock as to the fallout now.

As for Sonnen failing his drug test, there is a circle-of-life thing going on here. He was the kingpin behind the momentum for fighters to cry hypogonadism and a need for testosterone permission slips from athletic commissions. And the UFC was all too complicit in helping out grown, muscular men crying out at an alarming, abnormal rate that they, too, needed anabolic steroids to survive and make a living. It was Sonnen with his exploits in California that started this circle of embarrassment for MMA and basically confirmed that the industry is as dirty as horse racing.

Sonnen, Vitor, and Wanderlei getting nailed is living proof that guys are going to use testosterone whether or not they have a permission slip from an athletic commission. Getting the permission slips merely glorified the drug usage and built pressure on drug users to hit the anabolics rather than regulate an already-existing problem.

As for the Nevada State Athletic Commission, they couldn’t possibly have managed to hit upon more dumb luck. They need all the positive press these days given what Anthony Marnell III has put them through lately with his marijuana permit issues.

Update (6:30 PM EST): Fox Sports 1 just aired back-to-back interviews with Dana White and Chael Sonnen. It was the worst kind of public relations imaginable and they just inflamed a bad situation into an even worse one.

Mike Hill was put in a no-win situation interviewing both White & Sonnen. White said that MMA doesn’t have a drug problem. He went on to say that guys aren’t using testosterone but they’re using drugs to get off of testosterone. He used the Robert Mathis “fertility” excuse as to why Chael Sonnen was using some of the drugs he currently is. White blamed Chael for not disclosing his current drug usage and also blamed the Nevada State Athletic Commission for halting testosterone permission slips and not allowing for a transition period for fighters to ween off of testosterone.

Nearly seven years ago, Josh Gross wrote a famous open letter to Dana White about steroids in MMA. “This is about the truth of your product, and by pretty obvious extension, the sport.”

After babysitter Dana’s interview, here came Chael Sonnen stating that he was not using performance enhancing drugs but the rules are the rules and that if he has to choose between fatherhood and his job, he’ll choose fatherhood. At the end of the interview, Mike Hill was apologizing to Sonnen.

The response on social media to both White & Sonnen has been brutal, especially towards White. He’s being exposed and mocked for being a liar and completely out of touch. Given how much UFC leans heavily on the social media audience to support their product, today was a “jumped the shark” kind of moment.

Topics: All Topics, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 18 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

UFC information secrecy bill sent to Florida Gov. Rick Scott to sign into law

By Zach Arnold | June 7, 2014

What is the UFC trying to hide from the media in Florida by buying Governor Rick Scott’s loyalty?

Zuffa paid the man a lot of a cash for his re-election campaign against Charlie Crist. They got what they wanted:

PUBLIC RECORDS/GENERAL BILL by Regulatory Affairs Committee ; Government Operations Subcommittee ; Business and Professional Regulation Subcommittee ; Hutson

Pub. Rec./Florida State Boxing Commission; Provides exemption from public records requirements for proprietary confidential business information in reports required to be filed with Florida State Boxing Commission by promoter or obtained by commission through audit of promoter’s records; defines term “proprietary confidential business information”; provides for future legislative review & repeal of exemption; provides statement of public necessity; provides for contingent effect.

Here is the official bill text as constituted…

Continue reading this article here…

Topics: Florida, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 10 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

Nevada State Athletic Commission board member granted marijuana permit despite Gaming Commission protest

By Zach Arnold | June 6, 2014

On March 5th, we wrote about the saga of M Resort CEO Anthony Marnell, a current board member for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He was appointed to the NSAC by Governor Brian Sandoval. In one conflict of interest, the Athletic Commission approved future MMA dates at casino properties that Marnell is involved in.

Marnell then turned around and applied for a medical marijuana license from Clark County, Nevada when the county started testing the waters for approval of a select few permits.

Marnell was one of many major Las Vegas business players who applied for a medical marijuana license. The Nevada Gaming Commission was absolutely pissed. Marnell found himself in front of the Gaming Commission, having to explain why someone with a gaming license applied a medical marijuana permit. Marnell reportedly owns 71% of Clear River LLC, which applied for the permit. According to the Nevada Secretary of State’s web site, Marnell is/was considered an “inactive” officer. Not so much now. His partner in Clear River LLC is Robert R. Black.

Which brings us to Friday’s events where Clark County announced the winners of 18 medical marijuana permits. On the list was Clear River LLC. Anthony Marnell now has a medical marijuana permit despite the Nevada Gaming Commission telling him to back off. Marnell still is on the Nevada State Athletic Commission board. What we are now witnessing is a high-stakes, high-profile game of chicken where someone is going to blink and follow the money. Marnell being a public face of this battle is a big deal.

This situation puts the Athletic Commission and the AG’s office in a public relations pickle. Keith Kizer, who resigned as the Executive Director of the Athletic Commission, is now essentially the AC’s lawyer along with Christopher Eccles.

The timing could not be worse for the Athletic Commission. The AC has slammed fighters hard in the past who had tested positive for marijuana metabolites and yet gave out testosterone passes. Earlier this week, Joe Rogan admitted that Vitor Belfort failed an early February drug test for elevated levels of testosterone. On Friday, Belfort released documentation related to that failed drug test. The incident cost Belfort a chance to fight Chris Weidman in May for the UFC Middleweight title. However, Wanderlei Silva allegedly refused to comply with an out-of-competition NSAC drug test and won’t be fighting Chael Sonnen. The UFC, in turn, is now publicly encouraging the Athletic Commission to grant Belfort a license to fight Sonnen in July just four months after his failed out-of-competition drug test.

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

Fight Opinion Radio: Steve Kim on mutual assured destruction between Oscar De La Hoya & Richard Schaefer

By Zach Arnold | June 5, 2014

Richard Schaefer, former CEO of Golden Boy

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Time length of this week’s show: 34 minutes (16 MB MP3)

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Get a hold of us by messaging Judge Jeff on Twitter (@whaledog) and Zach on Twitter (@fightopinion).

Our e-mail address:

Continue reading this article here…

Topics: Boxing, Fight Opinion Radio, Jeff Thaler, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold, podcasts | 7 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

A look at a very busy June 2014 MMA fight schedule & card slate

By Zach Arnold | June 2, 2014

Event: Bellator 121 (Friday, June 6th at Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma)
TV: Spike TV

Event: UFC Fight Night (Saturday, June 7th at Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque)
TV: Fox Sports 1

Event: UFC 174 (Saturday, June 14th, Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., Canada)
TV: Fox Sports 1/PPV

Event: UFC Fight Night (Saturday, June 28th at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand)
TV: Internet

Event: UFC Fight Night (Saturday, June 28th at the AT & T Center in San Antonio, Texas)
TV: Fox Sports 1

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 17 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

Verdict on first UFC double-header: insufferably long

By Zach Arnold | May 31, 2014

Results from the main fights on Saturday…

Berlin card at O2 World Arena (8,000 in attendance)

Sao Paulo card at Ibirapuera Arena (sparsely attended at beginning, quiet at the end):

Fabio Maldonaldo looked like he wanted no part being in the cage with Stipe Miocic and it showed. Very soft as a small heavyweight and the second he got tagged by Miocic, he was backtracking. A clean right and Maldonaldo was done.

Antonio Carlos Junior won his TUF Heavyweight fight and the yellow “Team Wanderlei” shirt was the only reference to Wanderlei at all during the program tonight. Chael Sonnen was in the audience. Mixed reaction, at best, from the tired and fatigued Brazilian crowd.

Demian Maia had full mount for the majority of his fight and did nothing with it.

The UFC sent the wrong mat canvas to their Berlin event. They’re running so many shows, nobody can keep track of what is going on. Perfect symbolism.

Today was the first time that I saw advertising on TV for UFC 164 (the mystery Vancouver PPV headlined in two weeks by Demetrious Johnson). I feel very badly for DJ in terms of the promotional end of the stick. I have serious doubts that this card can draw over 125,000 PPV buys. That is extremely low for UFC but I think it is an entirely possible scenario.

The UFC and Bellator will be going head-to-head on Friday night in early September in Connecticut. UFC FS1 event from Foxwoods and Bellator at their strong-hold in Mohegan Sun. The Mohegan Sun events genuinely bring the best energy of all the Bellator crowds. If UFC is going to run more cards head-to-head against Bellator, that will be quite a statement of paranoia.

The boxing two-step with Felix Sturm losing and Carl Froch beating George Groves was more interesting to watch.

Topics: Brazil, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 9 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

The minor shake-up at DCA & impending 2015 shake-up at California State Athletic Commission

By Zach Arnold | May 30, 2014

Another day, more turmoil.

Yesterday came word that figurehead Denise Brown, a Sacramento lifer, was on her way out via retirement at the Department of Consumer Affairs. DCA is the monstrous government behemoth that controls many agencies in California. She was able to pad her retirement benefits by hanging around for a few years. And now her hatchet-man, Awet Kidane, is taking over.

Awet Kidane, 38, of Elk Grove, has been appointed director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs effective July 3, 2014, following the retirement of director Denise Brown. Kidane has served as chief deputy director at the California Department of Consumer Affairs since 2012. He was chief of staff for California State Assemblymember Steven Bradford from 2009 to 2012 and senior advisor to California State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass from 2008 to 2009. Kidane served as a legislative consultant for the California State Assembly from 2003 to 2009, where he was an associate consultant from 2002 to 2003. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $148,836. Kidane is a Democrat.

Tracy Rhine, 42, of El Dorado, has been appointed chief deputy director at the California Department of Consumer Affairs, where she has served as deputy director of legislative and policy review since 2012. Rhine served in multiple positions at the California Board of Behavioral Sciences from 2008 to 2012, including assistant executive officer and legislative analyst. She was a consultant for the California State Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection from 2005 to 2008 and consultant for the California State Assembly Speaker’s Office of Member Services from 2002 to 2005. Rhine was a graduate research assistant in Governor Gray Davis’ Office of Innovation in 2002. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $132,528. Rhine is a Democrat.

In the grand scheme of things, not a lot will change at the Athletic Commission as a result of Kidane getting promoted. He was already doing a lot of the dirty work for Denise Brown. The only difference is Kidane is now the face of DCA. He’s the target. The dossier on him is that he hates bad press. Really hates it. One way he can avoid bad press is by doing his job professionally and that includes cleaning up the festering mess of problems at the Athletic Commission.

Continue reading this article here…

Topics: Boxing, CSAC, MMA, Media, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

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