The GAEC (Georgia State Athletic and Entertainment Commission) met Tuesday morning and have indefinitely suspended MMA and boxing events as of January 2013.
Since GAEC’s former Executive Director, Andy Foster, is now working for the California State Athletic Commission, Georgia has yet to fill his position. Formerly, Foster approved MMA and boxing promotions and matches. He was the state’s chief regulator of boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, kickboxing, wrestling and ticket brokers.
In October, Foster accepted a position as Executive Officer for the California State Athletic Commission. This morning, the GAEC addressed Foster’s vacant position noting that they currently have yet to appoint a new executive director. Therefore, it is their belief that since they have no one to ensure fighter safety in any bouts held in the state yet, that they will not approve any combat sports event in the state of Georgia beginning January 1st.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s office is in charge of hiring a new executive director. Candidates have applied for the position, but no one has yet been interviewed.
David Oblas of Undisputed Productions, who also promotes Wild Bill’s Fight Night in Georgia wrote in a statement:
“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.”
According to an article by GeorgiaFighters.com, Georgia’s current Secretary of State Brian Kemp, facebook page and phone lines have been inundated with messages by fans and fighters to reinstate MMA.