MMA in Georgia under temporary suspension

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Georgia MMA fight community has been in an uproar.

Last week the powerful California Department of Consumer Affairs announced that former Executive Director of the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission Andy Foster had been named California State Athletic Commission Executive Director. Foster begins his new job Nov. 7.

While the state of regulation in California is a shambles, under Foster’s direction, revenue increased by 70 percent in The Peach State, and the number of regulated fighting events went up by 40 percent.

“We are hoping he can do in California what he did in Georgia in terms of increasing both revenue and the number of shows,” stated CSAC chairman John Frierson.

However, California’s gain is a huge loss to Georgia. For reasons that have not been disclosed, the Georgia Secretary of States office has yet to appoint an executive director. Qualified candidates have applied for the position, but none have been interviewed as yet.

David Oblas, promoter of the very popular Georgia-based Wild Bill’s Fight Night series has details.

“Today in the GA Athletic Commission meeting they voted to delay the approval of all 2013 events,” wrote Oblas. “This means these events will not be approved until they come up with another plan.

“The Georgia Athletic Commission wants to approve our events and is 100% behind us, but cannot do such at this time due to the Secretary of State office’s DELAY or UNWILLINGNESS to approve a new Executive Director that has the knowledge to approve the fight matchups that us promoters submit. With nobody to handle that role, the hands of the Athletic Commission are tied.

“Since it realistically takes us promoters 60 days to work on event, it is highly unlikely that the January 19 Wild Bill’s Fight Night (or any event after January 1) will take place.

“If you are a fighter, trainer or fight fan, you should be very upset with this news. Please pass along and help spread the word.”

The word was spread, and things are looking up.

The Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission conditionally approved the remaining boxing and mixed martial arts events submitted to the state for 2012, and a new Director is expected to be named shortly.