New York State Athletic Commission issues statement on McGregor

April 5, 2018

The New York State Athletic Commission has released a statement on the incident involving Conor McGregor and his entourage at today’s UFC 223 media day.

Videos showed McGregor and throw metal barriers, chairs, and trashcans to a bus with UFC fighters on it.  One video showed McGregor throw an object and break a window which cut Michael Chiesa.  Although initially though to be off the card due to the incident, it looks like Chiesa will still try to fight Saturday.

As told to MMA Fighting, the commission stated, “[T]he incident that occurred today at the Barclay’s Center was unacceptable and has no place in New York State sports.”  The statement went on to indicated that they are in touch with the UFC and Barclay’s Center management in response to the incident.  It statement ended indicating that McGregor is not licensed by the New York State Athletic Commission.

Dana White indicated that credentialed media for “The Mac Life” let Conor and his entourage into the arena.

Payout Perspective:

Despite being a box office and PPV draw, Conor McGregor may not fight in New York for a while based on the incident today.  In addition, it’s likely that the New York Police will be involved in some way as well as the UFC.  The legal fallout from this incident is certain.

Official complaint filed against Canelo Alvarez, NAC hearing set for April 18th

March 29, 2018

Executive Director Bob Bennett of the Nevada Athletic Commission has indicated that he has completed his investigation of the Canelo Alvarez drug-test failures for clenbuterol and filed an official complaint against Alvarez putting into doubt the Mexican superstar’s rematch with Gennady Golovkin.

According to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times, the NAC is seeking a one year suspension.

Alvarez is temporarily suspended pending a disciplinary hearing scheduled for April 18th.  A planned hearing to extend his temporary suspension has been canceled.

Alvarez blames tainted meat in Mexico as a reason for the drug test failures.  Since the findings, Alvarez has moved his training camp to the United States.

Despite past evidence that tainted meat can lead to a positive drug test, GGG’s camp has remained skeptical.

Payout Perspective:

The news is drawing concern from fans about the prospects that the huge Cinco de Mayo showdown will be nixed due to the findings.  Requests for ticket refunds for the fight are becoming more and more a possibility.  With the hearing so close to the fight, it will be a cliffhanger for both Canelo and GGG as to whether a huge, big money fight will be canceled.

NAC give Calvillo 3 more months in addition to USADA suspension

March 14, 2018

Cynthia Calvillo received an additional three-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission per MMA Junkie.  She was fined 15 percent of her disclosed $41,000 purse ($6,150) in addition to $436.08 in attorney’s fees.

USADA suspended Calvillo six-months for an in-competition drug test at UFC 219 that revealed marijuana metabolites in excess of the allowable limit of 180 ng/mL.  However, she was still subject to discipline from the NAC

She must now submit a clean drug test for steroids and diuretics 30, 15 and three days prior to receiving another fight license in Nevada.

Under the USADA suspension, her discipline would have been able to be reduced by three months if she had taken a drug education course.

Payout Perspective:

The additional suspension identifies an issue with double jurisdiction.  Even if Calvillo were to complete an approved drug course from USADA, thus reducing her suspension, the question of whether she can apply for a license in Nevada sooner may be in an issue. According to the Junkie article, she cannot apply for another license until September 30th.  Or, can she fight within 6 months in any state aside from Nevada?  The additional 3 months and fines also reflect the stance Nevada has on the use of marijuana which in itself is controversial.


CSAC revokes Jon Jones’ fight license and fines him $205,000 for failed drug test

February 27, 2018

The California State Athletic Commission unanimously voted (6-0) to revoke Jon Jones’ fight license and invoke a $205,000 fine against him for a banned steroid in his system discovered in a pre-fight drug test at UFC 214.

The $205,000 fine is 40% of his $500,000 disclosed pay (plus $5,000) for his matchup with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 on July 29th.

At a hearing held on Tuesday morning, the California State Athletic Commission heard Jones’ testimony as well as those from two experts that opined on Jones’ test results and how he could have had Turanibol and its metabolites in Jones’ system.  Jones did not dispute the finding but seemed to rest his case on the fact that he did not knowingly take the substance.  Jones did not appear to be a very good witness advocating on his own behalf.

Notably, Dr. Daniel Eichner stated that he has never heard of an case where a medication, supplement or otherwise to have been tainted with Turanibol or its metabolites.

Jones may re-apply for a CSAC license at the conclusion of his case with USADA.  Jones will need to make a request before the CSAC and receive a majority vote.  His license revocation was set to expire on August 28th per’s Brett Okamoto.

USADA has yet to rule on Jones’ case although his representatives believe it could happen as soon as next month.  According to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, Jones, a potential second-time offender, could be facing a 4-year ban.

Typically, other states would honor California’s license revocation, so any thought that Jones could fight in another state is unlikely.

Payout Perspective:

The prospects of Jones in a UFC octagon in 2018 looks bleak.  While, the CSAC did not issue a longer suspension, it appears that they are awaiting USADA to do the duty.  Jones’ admission to the test findings likely seals his fate.  The strategy of arguing that Jones did not knowingly take Turinabol but offering no other reason for the test had no effect in mitigating the penalties.  I would not expect USADA to mitigate any penalty either but we shall see.

Boxer left with brain injury and paralysis settles with New York for $22M

September 8, 2017

Magomed Abdusalamov has agreed to a $22 million injury settlement with the state of New York for injuries sustained in a fight in 2013.  The award is believed to be the largest personal injury settlement the state has ever made.  The Court of Claims of New York approved the settlement agreement on Friday.

For those not familiar, the 36-year-old Abdusalamov was the victim of improper care and the delay in receiving the proper attentionl likely caused a blood clot in the fighter’s brain.  He was forced to take public transportation to a hospital after the fight.  An investigation of the New York State Athletic Commission revealed improper conduct and training related to the medical care on the night of the fight.

Abdusalamov still is in need of medical help.  His speech is limited, is paralyzed on his right side and unable to walk due to multiple strokes he sustained.  His wife cares for him and his three daughters.  As the lawsuit continued, the family went into $2 million in debt as they had to help with his around the clock care.

For the fight, he was paid just $40,000 and received only $10,000 (the full payout) from a mandatory minimum insurance policy.

Payout Perspective:

The settlement should help with the care of Abdusalamov for what may be the rest of his life.  It will also help with the family and the education of his three daughters as it is clear he cannot provide for them financially.  The judge has to confirm these type of settlements as the money will likely be put in a trust of some sort with a legal guardian overseeing the spending so that it is not used for other purposes.  We note the amount of money he was paid and the minimal payout he received from insurance.  You may recall that boxing promoters protested the raise in insurance rates.  The increase was due in part to this incident as the insurance now requires a $1 million traumatic brain injury provision.

New weight classes voted in by ABC

July 26, 2017

The Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sport approved the addition of four new weight classes.  The new weight divisions are an attempt to address the health and safety issues with weight cutting.

The news came at ABC’s annual conference.  The new weight classes are 165, 175, 195 and 225 according to several in attendance.

Fight promotions such as the UFC and Bellator do not have to open up these weight divisions as it is the company’s choice.

Payout Perspective:

The vote to approve these weight classes is a step toward safety in weight cutting especially with smaller fight promotions and fighters that do not have all of the help to cut weight.  With that being said, even in the UFC and Bellator, fighters do damage to themselves when they cut an extreme amount of weight in a short period of time.  With these new weight classes, it will be interesting to see if the UFC and Bellator take a look.

Nate Diaz fine reduced by NSAC

April 12, 2017

MMA Junkie reports that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has reduced Nate Diaz’s fine to $15,000 and to complete 15 hours community service.  The reduction is in line with that given to Conor McGregor after a re-hearing on his discipline stemming from August’s incident at a pre0fight press conference.

Diaz was issued a $50,000 fine plus 50 hours community service for his part in the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference in which he through items at Conor McGregor on stage after leaving in the middle of the press conference.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to approve of the reduction.  Although not agreed upon by Diaz or his representatives, it is believed that Diaz will take the deal.

Payout Perspective:

This was a likely scenario given the NSAC’s vote to reduce Conor McGregor’s suspension.  It only makes sense that Diaz would also receive a reduction in the amount of his fine.  There were reports that Diaz had paid the fine so if this is true, he’d likely get a refund.  It seems unlikely that Diaz would push the new fine since its considerably less than the original and it would cost more to fight it.  Also, he has not sought out a fight so this has not really impacted him aside from his pocketbook and the time to do community service.

NSAC-McGregor agree to settlement from UFC 202 pre-fight incident

March 22, 2017

Conor McGregor’s punishment from the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to his involvement in a pre-UFC 202 news conference has been reduced.  The NSAC approved the settlement on Wednesday.

McGregor is fined $25,000 and ordered to complete 25 hours of community service within six months in addition to paying court costs.  The original punishmen t was $150,000 and 50 hours of community service.

McGregor filed a lawsuit in Clark County, Nevada seeking judicial review of the original punishment.  The lawsuit was the normal means of appealing a ruling from an administrative body.

The commission voted to re-hear McGregor’s case today during the NSAC’s monthly meeting.  McGregor did not appear but was represented by his attorney Jennifer Goldstein.  McGregor had met with NSAC chair Anthony Marnell and NSAC executive director Bob Bennett earlier this month which led to the re-hearings.

In December, Nate Diaz reached a settlement with the NSAC for a $50,000 fine and 50 hours of community service.

Payout Perspective:

This makes good on a horrible overreach by the commission.  Diaz should also look for a re-hearing on his fine and community service as well.  It also paves the way for clearing McGregor to obtain a boxing license in Nevada for the possibility of a fight with Floyd Mayweather.  This would obviously benefit Nevada if (and that’s a big if) that fight actually happens.

California adopts new rule for those not making weight

March 14, 2017

MMA Fighting reports that the California State Athletic Commission has enacted a new rule that will fine a fighter’s win bonus in addition to his or her show money when that fighter misses weight.

Commission head Andy Foster announced the new rule at a commission meeting on Tuesday.

Via MMA Fighting:

CSAC fined fighters’ 20 percent for missing weight, with the money coming out of their show money only. Half of that percentage went to the opponent and the other half went to the commission. Now, in addition to that, a fighter who misses weight will have his or her win bonus fined 20 percent, with that full total going to the opponent. The win bonus fine will only come into play, of course, if the fighter who misses weight is victorious in the bout.

Foster indicated that the win bonus for the fighter missing weight should be considered a part of the purse money and should be awarded to the fighter that made weight.

The new rule shall be implemented in bout agreements once contracts reflecting the changes are drafted and approved.

In addition, the committee is looking into ways to address extreme weight-cutting and hope to have more information at their next meeting this May.

Payout Perspective:

This is an interesting twist to addressing the issue of weight-cutting.  Of course, the rule might negatively impact the overall goal of ensuring that fighters safely cut weight.  Certainly, fighters not making weight should be punished but the commission also wants to ensure the health and safety of fighters.  If a fighter knows they will lose more money for not making weight, it might lead to extreme measures which might cause further harm to a fighter trying to make weight.  Obviously, for the fighter making weight, the extra money makes sense.

As an alternative to the fine, there could be an alternative of expanding to more weight divisions.  But, we will see how this rule plays out in California and if other commissions adopt it.

NAC to vote on rehearing of McGregor disciplinary case

February 16, 2017

MMA Fighting reports that Conor McGregor requests a rehearing of his NAC disciplinary case.  In an unprecedented move, the NAC plans on putting McGregor’s request up for a vote at the March 22nd meeting.  Notably, NAC executive director and chairman Anthony Marnell recommend the request be granted.

According to a statement released by the NAC on Tuesday, McGregor met with Marnell and Bennett.

In October, the NAC determined McGregor’s original fine to be $75,000 plus 50 hours community service and a public service announcement that would be $75,000 in value.

Since then, McGregor has filed for a judicial review of the NAC ruling in Clark County Superior Court.

As we all know, McGregor is aiming for a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.  With the intent that the matchup happens in Las Vegas, McGregor would have to obtain a license.  However, the disciplinary fine precludes McGregor from receiving the boxing license.

Payout Perspective:

A rehearing is a clear indication that the NAC wants to reduce the disciplinary charges for McGregor.  Moreover, they want to grant him a license so, if a fight with Mayweather actually occurs, it can happen in Vegas.  This rehearing is not how due process should occur as the appeal should go to the court.  But, if McGregor agrees to dismiss the judicial review in lieu of settling the case at the NAC, I’m sure that could happen.

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