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You won’t have Keith Kizer to kick around anymore; who will replace him?

By Zach Arnold | January 10, 2014

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Keith Kizer trends #1 on Twitter after resigning

Keith Kizer is gone as the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, effective January 27th. Kizer, whose job security was ensured by politicos like Sig Rogich and casino power players like Lorenzo Fertitta, quietly exits after having a lousy 2013 campaign that brought a lot of negative attention against the Athletic Commission.

Government moves slowly. As we saw in how long it took for Che Guevara to “resign” from the Department of Consumer Affairs from his position with the California State Athletic Commission, it’s hard to imagine that Kizer’s resignation (organic or forced) wasn’t in the works for some time.

“There has to be an exit strategy here,” exclaimed one top combat sports regulator. It is believed that Kizer will be moving up the ladder in state work as a lawyer. In other words, he’s not going to be unemployed and he got a promotion/parachute in state government circles. He was plucked from the AG’s office because it’s next door to NSAC and the AG’s office handles background checks.

The fact is that Kizer, who absolutely loved his job at NSAC and would do anything to keep it, became a major political liability and headache for Governor Brian Sandoval, the Attorney General’s office, and the Rogich/Lorenzo/Ratner political clan. Kizer was quoted by Fox Sports on Friday night as saying he had applied for the job of being the city attorney in Henderson, Nevada in late 2013.

Kizer’s resignation comes on the heels of a recent gaming commission rejection for licensure of a close Lorenzo & Rogich ally in Tim Poster, who basically got swatted away for his gaming license request due to connections with shady individuals. Both Lorenzo & Rogich appeared in Carson City (!) on behalf of Poster and were humiliated in appearing at a meeting where Poster got destroyed for his past business connections & decisions.

You don’t have to be a weatherman to see which way the winds were blowing in the Rogich clan to understand what is happening now.

As for who will become the next Executive Director, the reality is that the choice will have to be someone that Lorenzo, Rogich, Ratner, and the AG’s office approves of. They went to Keith Kizer because he was from the AG’s office, so the best bet is that an unknown bureaucrat will take the position. If they do go for an outsider, however, Mike Mazzulli from Mohegan Sun would stick out as an obvious choice since he knows boxing and is actually competent.

The wildcard name to pay attention to? Armando Garcia, the former California State Athletic Commission boss who has been working for the Fertitta empire in casino security the last several years. Zuffa knows who he is and knows that he was great at making money for California’s commission. He’s a strong personality but one that Zuffa is very familiar with.

As for Keith Kizer’s legacy, I love the fact that the Vegas press is championing him as a drug testing crusader when he (and UFC) rendered drug testing a sideshow by opening the floodgates for fighters to start begging for testosterone (anabolic steroids). And if fighters couldn’t get their permission slips to use testosterone, they would just go ahead and start microdosing their testosterone usage in order to skate under the 4:1 Testosterone/Epitestosterone ratio. Unless you’re using Carbon Isotope Ratio drug testing on urine samples, you’re not going to detect fighters microdosing on synthetic testosterone. When the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency busted Lamont Peterson for microdosing on testosterone pellets, it was embarrassing for Keith Kizer because it exposed that a standard NSAC drug test was nothing to worry about. The same commission handing out permission slips for fighters to use testosterone just pushed “enhanced” drug testing (whatever that means) for Josh Barnett last month. And it was done in such a way that the UFC, without public debate, ponied up the supposed $20,000 to pay for such testing.

Pushing Keith Kizer as a top anti-steroids crusader in combat sports is like celebrating a payday lender as an advocate for the best interests of poor people.

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

18 Responses to “You won’t have Keith Kizer to kick around anymore; who will replace him?”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    I am not specifically familiar with Mike Mazzulli, but I have been to more then a few boxing/MMA events at the Mohegan Sun. They run a tight ship there. They are the same guys who denied Joe Warren from fighting in Bellator due to him not having his medicals in order.

    Whoever they get, I hope he puts an end to TRT.

    • rst says:

      That would be nice, but not as long as they can make a buck off of it.

      They’ll probably make it easier.

      Nevada is not the most morally sound community in america in the first place.

  2. The Conspiracy Theorist says:

    With Kiser gone is it now going to be easier to get TRT use in Vegas?

    Kiser exits right as Vitor gets ready for a rumble in Vegas. Hmmmmmmmm…

  3. Fluyid says:

    Who in the world would want that job? Anything and everything you do in that job gets criticized and you get personally insulted over anything you do. I wouldn’t take that job for five times whatever it pays. You’ve got fighters and trainers, managers, etc., bending the rules and jacking with you back in the back and in the lead up to events you have to make sure promotions get their stuff done right…. oy vey.

  4. Send Andy (Punch Drunk) Foster there. We don’t want his sorry ass in California anymore.

  5. Chris says:

    Kizer is gone Zach. Pave the way for the next puppet.

  6. […] position yesterday to return to the Nevada Attorney General’s office. Whether his exit was spurred by political pressure or if it was “just a good time for [him] to move on,” Kizer’s decision has […]

  7. Alan Conceicao says:

    Promotions aren’t golden parachutes by definition.

  8. rst says:

    I dont know anything about politics but I dont remember Kizer being all that bad. I recall his statements in the media generally being much more reasonable then a plate of dana’s bs and I dont recall him ever being consistently in the news for what a corrupt incompetent jerk he is like csac (and pretty much everyone in califonia politics).

    But one thing that I do notice about politics is that mostly okay is often as good as it gets. Politics just seems to be an inherently corrupt industry/monopoly by the nature of being monetarily lucrative combined with having to much power over the community.
    Things could get a lot worse because the kinda okay dude was already a fluke.

    • Mark says:

      The McCarthy blackballing ruined his standing with MMA OGs. After that, even if he was the greatestest commish ever, he’d have been a pariah.

      • rst says:

        Oh okay,
        Big John.

        I like and respect John,
        I’m not sure I would characterize that as make or break.

      • rst says:

        Was it really a arbitrary blackball?
        I dont remember it all.

      • rst says:

        Did he get kicked out of Nevada or the UFC?

        If he just got kicked out of UFC, thats dana-mma’s prerogative.

        (You might consider it thankful that we have it to abuse it, except its only for the wealthy.)

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    I see some people really complaining about Dan Henderson being offered a substantial pay cut.

    I don’t see the problem in that at all.

    He is over 40. Has lost 3 fights in a row. Two of them have been boring fights. And his last fight on PPV couldn’t even draw 200,000 PPV Buys.

    In any other sport, an athlete in his 40’s would be getting a major reduction in pay if he was still around. The same should be in the UFC too.

  10. Gwesd says:

    Don’t forget Armando Garcia cost California State Athletic Commission $75,000 due to misconduct.

  11. david m says:

    I am so glad GSP is starting to badmouth the UFC. They deserve it after Dana did him dirty post-Hendricks fight. I can only hope GSP starts talking specifics and TRT. It was one of the top stories on yesterday. If GSP starts naming names, Dana and the Fertittas are going to be out of their comfort zone of ass-licking fanboy mma “journalists” and will start having to answer real questions from people whose livelihoods aren’t exclusively tied to the success of mma.

  12. […] Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion, the most knowledgeable about the Nevada scene, has a good wrap up of it right here. […]


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