The most recent WSOF show on NBC was a big success, garnering nearly 1,000,000 viewers, but it opened on a low note, with Dustin Holyko vs. Neiman Gracie. As revealed by Brent Brookhouse at BloodyElbow, Holyko, who lost to Gracie via RNC, has an extensive criminal record, and a number of white supremacist tattoos.
Holyko is adamant that he is not racist.
“I am proud of my race, but I’m not racist or any kind of Nazi," said Holyko to MMAJunkie. “One of my trainers, Mike Vasquez, he’s Puerto Rican and Spanish, and he’s like a dad to me. A lot of my training partners and friends are from different races. I have not a racist bone in my body at all.”
However, Holyko has White Pride written on his biceps, Iron Crosses on his forearms, and Nazi "SS" lightning bolt symbols on his back. Holyko said he plans to remove or cover any of the tattoos that could be deemed offensive.
In addition, public record on the Volusia County Clerk of Circuit Court database shows 16 different criminal charges dating back to 2005, including domestic battery and cruelty to animals charges in 2011, felony battery domestic violence in 2012, and domestic battery by strangulation in 2013. He served over two years in jail for robbery with a non-deadly weapon, and is currently on probation for the offense. That was his second incarceration, the first being 15 months for robbery in 2004-05.
When the WSoF learned about Holyko's background, they immediately severed ties with the fighter. Curiously, In an interview with MMAJunkie, WSOF matchmaker Ali Abdelaziz faulted Brookhouse for not coming to the WSoF with the information.
Now Brian Linder of the Daytona Beach News Journal reports that Holyko was not licensed to fight in the State of Florida.
Port Orange MMA fighter Dustin Holyko was not licensed by the state of Florida when he fought for the World Series of Fighting on network television Saturday due to an “administrative oversight,” the Florida State Boxing Commission said Wednesday.
Tajiana Ancora-Brown, the director of communications for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, said Holyko, a convicted felon, held licenses for 2011 and 2013 and that his ’13 license expired on Dec. 31. She said there is no record of Holyko submitting an application for a 2014 license.
Holyko’s trainer, Mike Vazquez, said Wednesday that his fighter did apply for a license prior to Saturday’s fight. His manager, Leonard Ross, a Daytona Beach attorney, said he was not aware his fighter did not have a license and “that certainly troubles me greatly.”
Said Ancora-Brown, “We know that there are discrepancies in the processes and procedures that should have been taken by the Florida State Boxing Commission. All I can say at this time is we don’t have (a license application) on the record.”
Ancora-Brown said a “serious” internal investigation is underway at the commission into what she expects “was an isolated event,” following the News-Journal’s request Tuesday for Holyko’s license. She expects the investigation to be completed within “several days.”
The boxing commission, which is headed by Executive Director Cynthia Hefren, grants one-year licenses to pro boxers, kickboxers and MMA fighters. Ancora-Brown said 258 boxers, kickboxers and MMA fighters are currently licensed by the state.
She said license applications can be submitted online or via fax and can be turned in as late as the weigh-ins, which normally take place one day before the fight.
Ancora-Brown said commission officials are on hand for the weigh-ins and at the fight venue, and there is a checks-and-balance system in place to make sure unlicensed fighters don’t get into the cage.
She said the commission had “experienced and professional” staff at the Ocean Center on Saturday, including an event coordinator.
Vazquez said someone from the commission checked his trainer’s license Saturday, but Holyko said he did not recall anyone questioning him about a license.
On Tuesday, the Florida State Boxing Commission said it has two license applications for Holyko and that a background check was not conducted on either application.
The first application, filed in 2011, did not disclose Holyko was a convicted felon, and was not signed or dated. The application also did not indicate his gender.
The second application, filed in 2013, had the words “armed robbery” and “cleared” written under the section that asked if the applicant had been convicted of a crime in the last 10 years. The second application also had a signature and date.
Ancora-Brown said fighters with a criminal history are required to divulge their past when submitting a license application. A criminal background does not mean a fighter will have a license revoked, denied or suspended, Ancora-Brown said.
She also said the commission may run a background check on a fighter who indicates a criminal past or if a complaint has been filed.
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