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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

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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 |

16 Responses to “GLORY’s Gabriel Varga has vaseline on shoulders while California athletic inspector thumbs his nose”

  1. ET says:

    Vaseline becomes a big deal in MMA with grappling not so much in kickboxing.

  2. edub says:

    That was the Ref’s job to find. That’s why we pat down shoulders, and the rest of the body.

  3. Joe Ulrey says:

    Zach……the title of “Gabriel Varga has vasoline on his shoulders while CSAC inspector” thumbs his nose is cute and catchy, but not true…….I would like to see the vasoline on the gloves that were supposedly applied to the shoulders…..I would also like to know at what portion of the fight this occured…..before the fight, between what rounds, etc. this may have a bearing on why I was looking toward the center of the ring. I would like you to describe the difference between rubbing your nose (as we all do from time to time, including you) and your claim of “thumbing your nose”…..Like your “taping of the gloves fiasco, where you took fuzzy pictures of gloves taped at a golden boy show and alleged “skinning” only to state that it wasn’t skinning after all……a snapshot of an instance from a video does not tell the story… creates excitement but is pure nonsense…….CSAC must be doing pretty good if this is where you have to “stoop” to create excitement for your website.

    • LMAO at CSAC doing a good job.

      Not paying Fighters there pensions. Especially MMA fighters that fight on pro boxing cards to create more ticket sells. But only boxers are told they will get a pension. But guess what when they call for the money the CSAC says it was lost, misplaced, spent or stolen.

      No brain scans given to fighters with all the money collected. Amateur MMA fighters don’t get them at all even after a brutal knockout. Amateur MMA fighters strike just as hard as pro MMA fighters but don’t receive the same proper medicals as Pro MMA fighters. And they fight more with more knockouts.

      They even bully promoters in the Past that they wanted to know who will be the winner or loser of the fight before the fight even began.

      CSAC is a joke especially clueless Andy Foster who bans a martial art that doesn’t strike the head and calls it full contact.

      Strike the head = light contact

      Don’t strike the head = full contact


    ZACH call your people to protest this illegal meeting.


    The only level headed CSAC Commissioner was banned from speaking or voting at todays Pankration Meeting. He is the one the speaks for the people not the Government. He was appointed by the Senate Rules Committee to protect the rights of the people. Our Senators appointed him.
    VanBuren Ross Lemons, M.D. is a board certified neurosurgeon in private practice in Northern California with a longstanding interest in traumatic injuries to the brain and spine. He graduated from the University of California, Davis, where he was awarded Summa Cum Laude distinction. While in college, Dr. Lemons competed in varsity football and wrestling. After completing medical school at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Lemons completed his postgraduate neurosurgical training at UC Davis Medical Center. He has published numerous articles on neurosurgical topics, especially traumatic injuries. Dr. Lemons has earned a black belt in Shotokan Karate and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has served for eighteen years as a ringside physician and consultant to the California State Athletic Commission.

    He is the only one that truly knows Martial Arts. He is well versed in Submission as well as striking. And he wasn’t allowed to speak. Because the CSAC/DCA did not list his address on the agenda. Claiming they made an error. Was this because they didn’t want his views and the Senate views. Or the CSAC/DCA didn’t want me to go to the address and give him my views of this CSAC/DCA shamalama. He is the only one that refused the cease and desist on pankration. And he knows it is not full contact. Because his Shotokan and jiu jitsu are not full contact in California. He knows what is Full Contact and what is not full contact. Love to speak to him on this ASAP. His view should have been heard. And his vote does count. This hearing should be rescheduled with both Giza and Lemmons in attendance.

    Dr. Lemmons should have been appointed to the Pankration Subcommittee. There should not have been all appointees by the Governor on this Pankration Subcommittee. There should have been a commissioner that knows both Karate and Submission on the Sub Committee. He represents the Senate and the people.

    This needs to be done again and gone over the correct and legal way. Not railroaded through illegally by the DCA/CSAC/Governor.


  5. rst says:

    Lol @ Sonnen.
    This dude is a headline machine!
    Only Sonnen could find a way to fail another drug test after already retiring.
    Is this guy just oozing drugs out of his pores and ears or what?!
    I think its great and he should be in the UFC hall of fame right next to that guy who killed himself in a car crash.

  6. The Gaijin says:

    Lol @ Phael Sonnen. I have been driving the bus against that guy since the beginning and let me say one last time. FUCK that guy. What a total ass clown and loser at life.

  7. Joe Ulrey says:

    Zach……I grant you that possibly, even probably vasoline may have been applied to Varga’s shoulders and arms…..and yes I will do better in the future…..I am human……and I can assure you that this is not a health and safety issue and apparently your site is the only place where it captures headlines as the lead story! The irritating thing is that you elude to “ignoring” and thumbing of my nose……..can be cute and funny but complete bullshit. There are times when as an inspector you do take your eyes off of the fighter……getting in and out of the ring, waiting for the referee to start the action, watching the opponent enter, or shortly thereafter when many circle the ring in front of your corner, etc. I am certain that one of these scenarios or something similar was the cause for my not staring directly at my fighter the entire time…..there was no “ignoring, daydreaming, thumbing of the nose” As for my picture being posted and no name being mentioned……really???? That is quite sensitive of you……but again bullshit…….If you ever have something to say about me, mention me by name. Going back to your “shoddy taping by CSAC inspectors”…..There was no skinning anywhere in your illustrations,,,,,there was no “shoddy taping” ……all you had were fuzzy pictures of taped gloves that you attempted to sensationalize……It you want to illustrate skinning to your fan base, show pictures of Barrera versus Juarez in Nevada…… I wish you well and hope that things pick up for you. And the offer still stands for you to witness gloves being taped, should you truly want to learn.

    • LMAO talking about Nevada on the Barrera Fight. How about when Antonio Barrera fought his sparring Partner Ceaser Najera at Fantasy Casino in Palm Desert. It was a title fight. This was a typical CSAC fixed fight at Fantasy Fixed Fights Casino. When I questioned the CSAC they agreed and told me it was an exhibition fight. Which they pulled the judges back 6 rows but left the referee in the ring for fighters safety. An exhibition there should be no referee in the ring. On the ticket it said title fight and on univision no where did the corrupt CSAC announce a exhibition fight.

      This is typical in California this Corrupt CSAC does as it pleases.

  8. Nevada Bob says:

    Joe you can’t assure anyone this is not a health and safety issue because you have no idea what was wiped on the fighter and you should have. Quit trying to shift this to Nevada, we don’t need your help, clean your own house first.

  9. Joe Ulrey says:

    Nevada Bob… that point, it is clearly vaseline and anyone who states that it is wiped on the fighter’s body is (at the very least) exaggerating……sure for those seconds prior to the start of the round I was not focusing on the fighter and I grant you that……..Long before this article, I had asked Zach to post the photo of Barrera-Juarez to show an example of possible skinning of gloves….(versus the fuzzy pictures that show no evidence of skinning from a golden boy show)…..Zach has IGNORED this request. Today I emailed him the youtube video…….Skinning is a health and safety issue. I can and will be more diligent in watching the application of vaseline. I ask that Nevada inspectors be more diligent in regard to skinning. All of this is a mute point if Zach still for whatever reason REFUSES to post the picture. While no two fights are ever the same, pictures of Juarez after the Nevada fight and the previous California fight may show the possible different effects of the gloves. Zach likes to dig in to these situations… is his chance.

  10. Nevada Bob says:

    It is wiser to be quiet and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt!

  11. Zack says:

    Did the CSAC dude just post to let you know that it was a scratch, not a pick?


    Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

  12. Mike "knock em" Downey says:

    Seriously? At least now I know what website not to take seriously. They got a guy writing a report on here about kickboxing that apparently doesn’t even know anything about the actual sport, lol. Have you ever seen Muay Thai? 100% of the time the fighters douse themselves in oil before and during their fights, even though clinching (wrestling) is a major part of their sport. I’d like to know exactly how vaseline on any part of either of these fighters bodies makes any difference when they aren’t even allowed to clinch or wrestle? Claiming Gabriel and his coach are cheaters and the CSAC is a joke which backfired as we all actually just sat and read such complete nonesense enlightening us on not taking you seriously at all in the future. Either, you are just such a hurting writer that this was the best story you could “make up” or u are actually clueless to a sport that you “SHOULD NOT” be writing about. But hey, if u are getting attention good or bad, it’s a good thing isn’t it? Maybe not so much in this case, where you’ve just shamed yourself as a horrible writer with great grammar 😉

    • Zach Arnold says:

      It’s against the rules on the books in the California Code of Regulations to allow vaseline to be applied anywhere outside of the face. If you have a problem with those rules, then address those in power who are the rule-makers. A rule is a rule and a law is a law. If it is on the books, it should be enforced.

      Attacking me personally on knowledge of combat sports or the law does you no favors. I’ll stick to the facts.

      I respect your credentials but have zero respect for your ad hominem attacks.


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