Ohio commission issues Sean Salmon one-year administrative suspension, $2,500 fine
Three days before picking up a unanimous-decision win over PRIDE veteran Yuki Sasaki at Fight Festival 26 in Finland this past weekend, Sean Salmon went before the Ohio Athletic Commission and was issued a one-year administrative suspension and $2,500 fine.
The suspension and fine resulted from a Sept. 2 column for MMAjunkie.com in which Salmon, who is author of the site's "Full-Time Fighter" blog, said he allowed opponent Allan Weickert to tap him out a June 6 NAAFS event in Ohio.
The column sparked debate, and some criticized the former Ohio State wrestler for "throwing" a fight.
A four-person commission ultimately penalized Salmon for "not fighting to the best of his ability" and "conduct detrimental to the sport," Ohio Athletic Commission executive director Bernie Profato told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The suspension is retroactive and ends June 6, 2010.
In the blog post, Salmon detailed a trodden mental state, and a waning personal life and marriage, heading into the fight. He also discussed a warning from his short-term employers at the U.K.-based Wolfslair gym that Salmon would be fired if he suffered a cut or injury in his fight since he'd no longer be able to train the team's other fighters.
"He went for an armbar, I defended it (only to prove to myself that he couldn't get it), and then I put my arm back in to give him the win so that I could return to England, healthy," Salmon wrote about the fight. "Just so you all know, that is the most embarrassing thing that I have ever admitted out loud."
Profato said he was disappointed that the "England excuse" wasn't mentioned in future columns and questioned the sincerity of the excuse.
Regardless, Salmon departed for the Fight Festival bout in Helsinki, which was booked prior to the commission meeting, soon after his Oct. 14 hearing. Although suspensions in the U.S. are usually upheld by commissions nationwide, many overseas promoters don't honor them.
Profato said Salmon never informed him or the commission members of the fight, which he compared to "kicking sand in the commission's face."
"To me, it's like showing the MMA world he has no remorse for what he's done," Profato said. "It's like being found guilty of a bank robbery and then robbing the 7-11 down the street. It's almost the same thing."
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