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« | Home | »

The issues surrounding Armando Garcia’s resignation from the CSAC

By Zach Arnold | November 26, 2008

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There’s a lot of discussion as to why Armando Garcia tendered his resignation from the CSAC (start with Steve Barry’s article and go from there). If you believe these various media reports, there’s probably a lot of reasons as to why Mr. Garcia decided to leave the CSAC.

However, let me bring up one reason that I think a lot of people are overlooking: UFC.

UFC has ran a few shows in California, but have you noticed that the promotion has been staying away from the state? The easiest way to apply political pressure on a state is through financial means. Other than the occasional Sacramento or Anaheim spot show, UFC has not been very active with events in California. Why is this? California has the largest population of any state in America, UFC is the one promoter that could consistenly draw well with big events in the state, and yet the organization decided to run spot shows in areas like Omaha?

For as much hope as you can place on a state athletic commissioner to think ‘safety first’ in regards to regulating events, ultimately a major role of an athletic commissioner (especially one that oversees fighting events) is to attract as much cash as possible to a state. With MMA quickly turning into a UFC-only show, UFC’s leverage in terms of politics with various state athletic commissioners is growing. If UFC decides that they don’t want to do business with you and will do business elsewhere, then who takes the heat for not bringing revenue to the state? That’s right — the head honcho of the athletic commission.

One of the things Armando Garcia pointed out to media reporters was his ability to bring in a lot of revenue to the state of California. California, out of all the states in the US right now, is the most heavily in debt. The state’s finances are ready to implode at any second. Therefore, you would think that someone like Mr. Garcia would be ‘safe’ at his job considering that he used financial benchmarks as a way to judge his overall performance.

However, if UFC is coming to the state less often, that means less revenue. Less revenue means more political pressure. More political pressure means less margin for error for a politician on other issues he/she may be in trouble for. With Armando Garcia now out of the picture in regards to the CSAC, will UFC pick up their live events schedule in the state of California?

Addendum: Yes, WEC ran an event in Sacramento. However, the live event gates of WEC do not come close to the amount of money that UFC events make at the gate.

Update (11/26): No drug testing right now for California MMA events. Take note of this comment and relate it to this original posting here.

Original post date: November 11th.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 14 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

14 Responses to “The issues surrounding Armando Garcia’s resignation from the CSAC”

  1. Smithson says:

    UFC sold out Sacramento the first time and drew something like 8,000 paid the second time. Anaheim sold out the first time; didn’t sell out the second time, and now the Honda Center seems to be Affliction’s “home” arena. UFC comped the hell out of the Staples Center and still came up 5,000 sort of a sellout.

    Maybe UFC is simply seeing diminishing returns and aren’t in a rush to go back when there are still new markets to explore.

  2. Jeremy says:

    I think Smithson is correct. Cali has not been a great market for the UFC of late.

  3. jdavis says:

    The UFC hasn’t done a event in California since UFC 76 (September 2007). It would be hard to say anything about how they would do in California currently when they haven’t been there in over a year.

    They were in California 5 times in 2006, twice in 2007 and then in 2008 it was zero, something sure seems to be up. I wonder if it had anything to do with how messed up the Sherk situation got?

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    The CA fans seem to be resistant to high ticket prices.

    They will pay for the WEC. They will pay for Affliction. They will pay for Strikeforce. All typically have lesser ticket values.

    With the UFC, they just don’t sell out like Vegas, Ohio, the UK, and other hotbeds for the sport. Which is weird because the sport is so popular in CA.

  5. Stevie J says:

    I’m sure that wasn’t a knock on Omaha… but it felt like one.

  6. Carly O. says:

    Too bad they can’t bring this kind of financial pressure to New York. God knows they could use the money.

  7. Jeremy says:

    Add me to the list of folks that think that it was dollars and not politcs that kept the UFC out of Cali.

  8. The Citizen says:

    Man look, if you want to run CALI or New York you can’t have over-weight ladies taking pot shots at Ray Sefo.

    The 750 dollar section might be cool if you are getting married in Vegas, but the reality is that we want to see GOOD FIGHTS.

    That means good fights on the card, before the event happens — not the single main event and the wish that may-be, just maybe the card will be good if we lay down our money.

    Perhaps I’ve eaten too much turkey already, but when Big Nog beats Mir and Lesnar, and Fedor still floats above the clouds, we’ll be right back where we were when PRIDE was still around.

    Mirko — you don’t have to fight, just do what is best for your family.

  9. cyph says:

    UFC sold out Sacramento the first time and drew something like 8,000 paid the second time. Anaheim sold out the first time; didn’t sell out the second time, and now the Honda Center seems to be Affliction’s “home” arena. UFC comped the hell out of the Staples Center and still came up 5,000 sort of a sellout.

    Maybe UFC is simply seeing diminishing returns and aren’t in a rush to go back when there are still new markets to explore.

    This is the correct answer.

    Businesses go where the money’s at. The cost for going to one event for two people could pay for a whole year’s worth of UFC PPV. Live events are interesting once in a while but not every year. This is one of the reasons the UFC prefers to go to new states. The exception is Vegas where the fans who attend are already visitors from other states.

  10. Fluyid says:

    According to Art Davie they are doing the big XARM fights in California on college campuses. This somehow eludes the CSAC. The competitors are all enrolled in the college.

    Crack down on this, CSAC!

  11. […] The issues surrounding Armando Garcia’s resignation from the CSAC […]

  12. Chuck says:

    “The competitors are all enrolled in the college.”

    Really? Most of the XARM guys are in their thirties. The one guy (who lost on the first episode. Was his last name Verdell?) is 47 years old. I know there are many old college students, but I don’t think most of the XARM guys are college students.

  13. Fluyid says:

    The Art Davie interview just came to me earlier today and I believe that is what he said. I figure they enrolled them in some BS class in order to take advantage of some student loophole or something like that.

    Link to the Davie interview:

    http://carsonscorner.podomatic.com/

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