With Chael Sonnen's ruling last week on getting his suspension reduced to 6 months, the CSAC (California State Athletic Commission) really made MMA a serious relationship problem develop.
Putting aside the Sonnen controversy, the commission seems to have problems with what MMA is all about and what they think is "boxing".
While watching the preceding they were things said such as "Are you a good boxer?" or "I'm not that familiar with your sport" is a definite head scratcher, and makes me wonder why these individuals exist on this committee. Every committee in every state has problems and tries to work around them but when not knowing people from the organization that Sonnen was from or members from other committees in various states really makes the credibility minimal.
The other problem I had with this whole committee meeting is that lack of organization and communication with the members. Many times there were instances where the members didn't know the exact rule or how to proceed on certain areas. It really made me wonder what exactly happens at this meetings and if the members really focus on more than just boxing and give MMA a closer look.
Another negative from this, was one of the members had to catch a plane and was going to leave the meeting early. Did they not know this would go well over 2 hours and did not clear his schedule to allow the time to listen to both sides of the case? Again, the credibility drops when these things happen and it makes the committee unreliable when a question or concern does arise.
How does this trickle down to the sport? Well if the committee is confused and something else arises where do the questions go and how much information will be correct when returned? The communication is a big part of any committee and during the preceding the members were talking about setting some rules in future incidents. I was given the impression this case wasn't talked about well before the actual hearing and the members were basically thrown into the situation. Again, communication doesn't have a strong focus and that is a major problem.
After it was all said and done Sonnen was suspended for not taking an illegal steroid but for not disclosing it to the proper personal. It was confusing and very misleading on what they were present for in the first place, with him taking the steroids issue basically invisible.
These committees from each state have been formed well before MMA ever took form and many are either boxing orientated or not in the age demographic for the sport. Would it be smart for the states to get some MMA information to each member or bring in some other members that have MMA background to help spread the facts around and be a base for the others? It would be a logical decision and make problems that less of a hassle when they do occur.
With all these problems being at the top of the ladder the downward spiral begins to swirl. Again, after this past weekend at the TUF Finale the judging was put into question with Nam Phan getting overlooked for his impressive performance against Leonard Garcia. Who assigns those judges for the MMA fights? The state's Athletic Commission.
This has been a really rough stretch for the committees and assignment of judges with no clear cut solution insight. With the lack of communication and knowledge of the sport it really puts a damper on what these males and females do as their everyday job. It starts from the top and if something isn't adjusted or corrected all together, it will continue to hamper the growth and expansion of MMA.