By Jose E. Santiago
The GAEC (Georgia State Athletic and Entertainment Commission) met today to discuss a hot topic. With the absence of Andy Foster, the question at hand is who will approve matches and adequately fill the roll to ensure fighters safety. In October, Foster accepted a position as Executive Officer for the California State Athletic Commission. Foster, previously worked as executive director of the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission as the state’s chief regulator of boxing, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, wrestling and ticket brokers. Under his tenure the state of Georgia has seen an increase of promoted events including two UFC promotions. The quality of fights and overall success of the combat sports has drastically increased while under Foster’s supervision.
As of this morning, the Secretary of States office has yet to appoint a qualified executive director according to the commission. With fighter safety as its number one objective, the GAEC has decided not to approve the fight matchups proposed by promoters beginning January 1st.
David Oblas of Undisputed Productions and one of the most successful promoters in the Southeast said, “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.”
The agenda or objective of the Georgia Secretary of States office is uncertain in this matter considering that many qualified candidates have applied for the position, but none have been interviewed. The tightly stitched fight community in Georgia is at an uproar as they’ve been flooding the phones lines and Facebook page of Georgia’s current Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
Fightnews will keep close tabs on the situation as it develops and will provide updates as they transpire.