Grand River Athletics Commission Bad for MMA


I am sorry but I can only sit back and watch the Grand River Athletics Commission sanction so many MMA events before I am forced to speak up. The Grand River Athletics Commission has their own agenda, which is not in line with the rest of the MMA world.  Yet what they do is called MMA.  They are risking a serious injury to an athlete that this country cannot afford to handle, especially when MMA proponents are fighting to have the sport fully legalized and sanctioned in all provinces.

There are some good people involved in these events, but unfortunately the commission has no regard for any of the fighters’ safety.  The best example is their refusal to work with other commissions, to share medical suspensions, etc.  After this weekend’s FSC card, they proved that they are not concerned with medical suspensions or fighter safety.

For instance take Shaun Krysa, who lost by KO on the Iroquois MMA 6 card on November 22nd.  Then on December 14th, 22 days later, he is TKO’d again in a tournament match sanctioned by the same commission.  Athletes in the rest of the MMA world are suspended 14 days after each contest to prohibit any competitions 2 weeks apart and risking any injuries.  If a fighter is TKO’d or KO’d, there is a minimum 30 day suspension.  On November 22nd, Krysa was KO’d and was then licensed 22 days later by the same commission.  Seriously, what is their purpose?  Why risk the health of the fighter?  Even if Krysa and the promotion are willing to let him fight, it is important for a non-affiliated third party to sometimes step in and make the right decision to protect everyone.

In Manitoba on the last Ultimate Cage Wars card, Tom Withoos lost by TKO in the 2nd round, and was suspended for 100 days due to the damage he sustained.   He wasn’t even KO’d like Krysa was 22 days previous to his last fight.

Also on the same IQMMA card on November 22nd, Bernie Antle was Ko’d from an illegal downward elbow.  The referee failed to stop the fight and Denis Puric continued to land undefended blows on the injured Antle.  Worse yet, when the referee finally stopped the fight, Antle had to wait over 30 minutes for an ambulance to show up.  Eric Wong, a performance coach who works with Jeff Joslin, was in attendance and summed up the situation perfectly in his blog.

(Antle) was badly hurt by an illegal elbow to the back of the head. Making things worse, the ref didn’t stop the fight and allowed the attacker to continue to drop bombs on his hapless opponent. The result – 45 minutes waiting for the ambulance to arrive and a mixed-martial artist who could’ve possibly been permanently injured.

Because of the lack of good refereeing, an athlete might be suffering for the rest of his life and the anti-MMA bandwagon may have just gotten some good ammo to keep MMA out of Ontario.

Why is there no ambulance on site for these events?  Where else are they cutting corners?  If Antle had permanently suffered a brain injury, would the promotion have sufficient insurance to support him?  Only a non-partisan third party governing body can step in to ensure that fighters are properly protected.

I have no interest in debating how  the Grand River Athletics Commission are able to get around Section 83 or how they have the right to self-government.  My only concern is their lack of respect for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and their failure to put the sport and the safety of the fighters first.

37 Responses to “ Grand River Athletics Commission Bad for MMA ”

  1. The Hammer says:

    This is bad for MMA and other combat sports in Ontario and across the country. The blame can be put on the commission, but make no mistake about it, the “good people” involved are the ones guiding the commission’s actions. Sec 83 aside, the way they are cutting corners on safety makes it pretty obvious these guys are in it for the money, not the sport. I think promoters should make money, don’t get me wrong….but if you have a budget to work with…cut out the big screens not the ambulance!!

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  2. My only concern is their lack of respect for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and their failure to put the sport and the safety of the fighters first.

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  3. Scott White says:

    Mr. Drolet – I totally agree with you here. Luckily no one was suffered any serious injuries in the tournament but the moment I heard the athletes would be fighting three times in one night I had a bad feeling about the whole situation.

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  4. Thanks for your support Mr. White. I am a big fan of your website and your work. Your support means alot.

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  5. Bubba says:

    That’s bush league right there.

    No pun intended since I am sure this took place in an actual bush.

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  6. From my clients the FSC:

    Seems to me critics are not getting there facts straight. To clarify I have composed a few misinterpreted items:

    1. Tournament structure and single fight match have the same risk. In a tournament style FSC employed, fighters had ONE five minute round as opposed to 3 five minute rounds. In a tournament structure, fighters are allowed to rest after advancing. On dec 14, each fighter fought at most 2 minutes. Except for the main event which was 3 five minute rounds.

    2. FSC was sanctioned by a commission. Grand River Athletics Commission held on Native Reserve. When UFC started they and was illegal they held their events on Native Reserve.
    – On dec 10, 08 Dana White visited Toronto forUFC 94 press release, and has made it clear that he supports the small organizations that help build the industry.

    4. FSC has not been fined by any commission. We have the support of the fighters, and the people that were involved .
    5. Pirating Rory MacDonald? KOTC and FSC had a misunderstanding. There were 2 Rory MacDonalds in MMA. The Rory MacDonald they thought we had was under their contract. We called to clairfy. They apologized and we apologized.

    6. FSC trying to make a quick buck off Anderson Silva? We have a great relationship with Anderson Silva and his manager. We … Read Moretook a hard hit (loss) yet we are happy with the outcome because we knew it would help the fighters and the sport. We took a huge risk knowing that there would be a lot of hurdles, competition, critics (because of the illegalities of the sport) yet we stood strong.

    We knew it would be a struggle to pull this off being a newbie in the MMA world. And we will continue with our fight to sanction the sport. You can come at FSC all you want. We’re here to fight til the end til the sport is sanctioned. We are here to build the industry and we try to help everyone involved with MMA in Ontario (namely IQ MMA, Fight Planet, & MMA Canada).


    my words:
    They’re new to it.
    They had the Balls to pull it off.
    Made mistakes but I’m sure they’ve learned the hard lessons now.

    I know I have.

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  7. 1) The issues with Tournaments is the lack of measures to ensure fighter safety. If they are allowing fighters to fight without meds, and allowing fighters who were recently KO’d, sometimes on their OWN sanctioned events, how are we supposed to believe anybody is safe in a tournament run by people who aren’t safety oriented. That is where the problem is.

    2) Dana supports the sport but in NO way supports Self run Commissions. I guarantee you, he is all about the Unified commission that works on the same standard that they do.

    5) It’s Rory McDonnell from Ontario that was confused. Similar but different names, and neither was on the card.

    As a representative of FSC, can you comment on allegations that the Commission owes FSC money, and that many FSC employees are upset that they weren’t paid, or that fighters weren’t paid perdiums? Or that some fighters showed up 2 hours late for the weighins and weren’t fined or reprimanded in any way?

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  8. Tony Lee says:

    I fought on one of the events. My experience is they made me do my meds or would not let me fight. I am new to the MMA game and they gave me a chance to fight. I’m not sure about the other issues but would love to hear the views of the fighters in question. There are always two sides of the story. I can understand and agree with the issues but would like to hear from the other side before passing judgement.
    I remain neutral. Great blog by the way!!!!

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  9. Thanks for your comments Tony and Mark. It is good to get a fighter’s point of view like Tony’s on this who has fought on one of the IQMMA cards that Grand River sanctions. Congrats on your win! Its also nice to get one of the FSC promoters like Mark on here commenting.

    Unfortunately, I have tried to get in touch with Charles Monture and/or Jason King but the email addresses I have for them at iroquois mma return Undeliverable messages. It would only be fair to get their side published as well. I have asked some others in the MMA industry for the GRAC’s information, so stay tuned – hopes to post their side yet.

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  10. Matthew Dunning says:

    Ok first off I have talked in depth with Marc-Andre about all of this and he was nice enough to keep my name out of it!!Now I had a fighter there last weekend and NOTHING was handled right from the start.Including allowing half the fighters to weigh in 2 hrs later then the rest of the guys!!Also Mark from the FSC does not know his head from his ass.He has been hired and fired by the FSC guys more then 5 times.I was the one sticking up for these guys before.But after last weekend I can no longer do that.From medicals not being done to blood work to no ambulance.Oh and from what Mark wrote saying fighters had time to rest in between fights, that is a crock.After the third prelim fight was done they went right back out there.Also I have never EVER had to chase down a promoter to try and getting travel expense or perdiam for my fighters!None of that was paid and we were blown of by the promoters after the show.As far as the FSC is concerned they are done and will never get sanctioned again.We even had to chase them for ice in the dressing room.Like I said before I was not going to come out but now I am mad with all the BS lies they are telling trying to cover there own ass!!!Thanks Marc-Andre for exposing the truth.

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  11. Christina says:

    Good point! Great write up!
    I understand that some places had mma sanctioned by doing thing slike this BUT ontario isn’t budging and its not moving forward becuase NO ONE has put on a show or come up with a way to make it look legit… if you want mma so bad quebec is 6 hours away… knock yourself out… like? they are messing it up i feel for the rest of ontario.. BUT fighters go where the money is they dont care.. they get to fight close to home.. I mean.. MMA looks barbaric, enough… it doesn’t need the help of events.. like this with stuff like that happening. I read in a great book called “fighting for acceptance, mixed martial artists and voilence in american society” and in one of the chapters it talked about how its NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE COMMISSIONS TO MAKE IT SAFE, ITS UP TO THE FIGHTERS TO PUT ON A GOOD CLEAN SHOW AND NOT SAY STUPID STUFF LIKE ON THE LAST UFC ON TV FIGHTING FOR THE TROOPS “OH I’VE BEEN WAITING SO LONG TO DO THAT” IN REGARDS TO BUSTING UP A GUYS ARM? ITS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROMOTERS TO MAKE SURE ALL PROCAUTIONS ARE TAKEN, ITS UP TO THE MEDIA TO TELL THE STORY.. LIKE EVERYONE HERE IS POINTING FINGERS… IF WILL BE LEGAL IF SO AND SO DID THIS…


    Anyone who fights on these rez cards wont be able to fight in canada anyways.. 6 months to a year depending on what province your in…

    i can understand WHY they would want to have them but if your not dotting your “I’s” and crossing your “T’s” then why bother? you know the world is going to be nit picking especially if its under a rez commission…


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  12. I appreciate all the comments but DO think the commission should be held accountable for what they are sanctioning.

    I also agree that the fighters and rest of the MMA community who involves themselves is also not doing the sport a service. Nobody is intentionally trying to ruin the sport, but the ramifications of what they are doing could result in just that, and the sport cannot afford it!

    I was also on the Fan 590 today during Showdown Joe’s show and brought this article and points up.

    Thanks guys

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  13. Jason Cecil says:

    I think I am the most experienced IQMMA fighter, I fought in 3 of the 6 events. Two of which were on very short notice. For me it was good to get the experience and cash with only a short trip from Toronto

    At the 2nd IQMMA they seemed to have been very professional at making sure everything was done as safe as possible. Myself and others were impressed with there work however the following cards seemed to have less and lesser concern for the fighters. I won’t get into details but that was the general impression I got.

    I am very grateful to have fought close to home which allowed some of my friends to come out and see me in action, Personally they IQMMA have treated me well and have not done me any wrong that I am aware of.

    I want to do what is best for the sport yet the answer to the question: is IQMMA good for the sport? has been unclear to me. I supported the fact that they are on their own lands and have the right to put on these competitions yet safety needs to be paramount. I was never certain about the messures taken to ensure the fighters safety cause I don’t know the process behind the scenes and also the ability of the refs yet with my personal experience I have growing concern for the safety of myself and others.

    I was threated to be suspended and I am currently under a 6 month suspension according to the quebec commission so with the uncertain safety of the IQMMA commision and the trouble with the rest of the countries commissioning I will no longer be fighting at IQMMA. Yet I have some fond memories of some of my first fights there with many of my friends, one of which includes memories of my first victory :)

    In the end, it is such a shame we cannot compete and watch live MMA in Ontario with the assurity that safety is paramount.

    P.S. It is also hard to always be the one who is traveling to fight and fighting the hometown guys :)
    It was nice to have the crowd cheer for me for a change lol. Peace everyone.

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  14. Andrew says:

    Wow. I did not know about the Krysa TKO thing from the last card. That’s just messed up.

    Although I was pleased with the event as a whole, a few issues arose on the long ride home. First, the fight after the first round (sorry guys but I’m drawing blanks on names right now) went on WAY TOO LONG. That’s the fight where the fighter placed his hands on his knees to recoup and the other guy soccer kicked him in the head (legal kick though). Our concern wasn’t with the kick but that the ref did not stop the fight. We counted at least 10 blows to the head that were unnecessary. The fighter’s girlfriend had to come in and beg him to stop. That same fighter was not provided a chair for his corner and just laid down on the mat between rounds. Also, the first fight the bearded dude won with a rear naked choke that was on way too long; the ref was incredibly out of position to see the tap. Come on ref, you need to be looking at the hold AND the guy’s hand for a tap. Use both eyes. Now we were upstairs when the ref was going over the rules and I gotta say the fighter’s safety was not the first issue as he claimed; they wanted to put on exciting fights at any cost. But at least I saw paramedics at the event, though no ambulance out front (could have been hiding around the side).

    PS. Anyone notice that IQMMA’s next event takes place on the same night as Affliction: Day of Reckoning? Clear evidence that no one’s really doing their homework over there.

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  15. Pete Rodley says:

    without getting into it…..what exactly are these guys doing to “fight” to legalise MMA in Ontario?

    I wasnt there last week, but I have heard many stories.

    I sure look forward to a day when I can promote in my home province…and do it properly!


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  16. […] / borderline corrupt commissions out there, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Here’s an article on Cageplay detailing the serious issues with the Grand River Athletics Commission, which oversees MMA events […]

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  17. Jason says:

    I’m sorry but the fighters should not be responsible for this. That is why we have commissions, so that people can follow rules/guidelines. Unfortunately there has been some bad press lately regarding them as seen here and with the CSAC.

    Sorry Christine, but I am so tired of hearing about Steve Cantwell. An overhyped 22 year old excited from a win said something stupid, which he has already regretted and apologized for.

    Caps lock – UNLEASH THE FURY!!!!!!!!!!!

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  18. Where the fighters are at fault is this. (Not 100% on all commissions) but they typically have to sign off on their suspensions and are aware they aren’t to fight anywhere else. So if they decide to ignore the suspension and fight for another commission then I do believe they should be fined or suspended.

    That being said, the commissions are the ultimate authority for their actions, and if their actions speak so loud that they could damage the sport, then I encourage more people to talk about it, and do something about this.

    Appreciate the comments everybody. I’m slowly getting through my inbox. Some good some bad, but I appreciate them all.

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  19. Shaun Krysa says:

    The information posted about me is inaccurate, I have messaged him regarding this and I am sure he will post on here what I have told him.

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  20. I appreciate you responding to my email Shaun.

    Shaun informs me that on Nov. 22nd he wasn’t KO’d, did receive a suspension, it was overturned, and was medically cleared to compete Dec. 14th 22 days later. On Dec. 14th he was taking some punches, and decided to end it before he took any more punches. He wasn’t hurt, but with one 5 minute round, knew he wasn’t going to win.

    The promotions website and their email with the official results both had the fight listed as a KO. I’ve spoke a few friends who were there, and it sounded like more of a flash KO, where was knocked down, but popped right back up.

    I don’t believe anybody should be fighting 22 days later, and no commission should be sanctioning this match.

    No disrespect to you Shaun but a TKO loss should still carry a minimum 30 day suspension.
    When no injuries are sustained in a fight, it’s typical to get 14 days of no contact suspension, but 22 days is just too soon.

    This is exactly where I see the commission failing the sport when it comes to ensuring proper safety.

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  21. “I have no interest in debating how the Grand River Athletics Commission are able to get around Section 83 or how they have the right to self-government.”

    I’m actually interested in hearing more about this…perhaps it’s common knowledge, but I’m not familiar with it.

    It is absolutely the commission’s job to regulate a promotion’s event. If emergency personnel isn’t on site the event should be delayed or cancelled.

    The negligence displayed by the promotion and the commission is overwhelming.

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  22. Randy Slimmons says:

    Shaun Krysa’s suspension was overturned by who? the same commission that sanctions both shows?

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  23. Randy Slimmons says:

    I also dislike that its held tournament style, so the fights are shorter, but people fight more than one in the night. Who gets the win’s and losses in their records? are fighters accumulating more than one professional win/loss in a night?

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  24. Matthew Dunning says:

    Ok for what Shaun said above!!I was there in the back when he came into the dressing room and was on the floor in a daze for like 30min!!!He can deny it all he wants but it’s true!!His suspension being over turned is BS because it’s the same commission who would have done that.Also he didn’t just give up the fight was stopped!!!By a Ref!!Sorry but people need to hear the truth no BS.Like I said before I just think cutting corners is not the answer here!

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  25. I just want to say that i really respect what IQMMA has done so far ..i have been to all the events witnessed safety , and have seen the DRs , fireman and over 70 security people ,ambulance ect. In no way have i seen anything diffrent from any other shows. I think people should quit bitchin and start showing support to these guys..They have alot of courage to do what no one else has the balls to do…this gives our local athletes a place to show case there skills..IQMMA IS MAKING NOISE and putting to notch shows on i support 100% what those guys are doing . The Comission has made sure all medicals are done and proper saftey messures are put in place just ask all the guys who have fought there . FSC is dead. The only pro event in Ont is IQMMA.

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  26. Matthew Dunning says:

    I just finished talking to Jason King from IQMMA and he informed me that the problems from the event all happened because of the FSC!!!They skipped out on paying everything so IQMMA was left holding the bag.I have to admit at least they paid are fighters.Email me with any questions.Thanks


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  27. Jeff B says:

    Isnt it the commisions responsibility to assure that the promotion fronts the money to pay the fighters and staff before the event?

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  28. Check out the Grand River Athletic Corporations’ reply to this article:

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  29. Mark Barrowcliffe says:

    I read on here criticism about referee late stoppages and illegal strikes and how it’s bad for the sport because it’s on a Native Reserve. All except the Native Reserve part of this happens in all MMA events, even Dana White has criticized referee’s in the UFC for late stoppages or early stoppages, or a fighter not being penalized for an illegal strike. The Commission nor the Promotion is talking in the ref’s ear as the fight is going on.
    Yes the FSC made some mistakes in their first event, and those mistakes are being pushed on IMMAC, yet this was not an IMMAC event.
    IMMAC has always run a good event and are getting better each time. I was at the fight where Bernie Antle was stabilized in the ring for 45 minutes. If the Promotion didn’t care about fighter safety they would have hauled him off into the back to wait for an Ambulance, but instead they chose not to move him out of precaution for his safety. Fighters and Fight Clubs based in Ontario continue to support and participate in IMMAC events, it seems to be one or two “fans” that criticize or question fighter safety.

    If Ontario fighters and fight clubs continue to go out of province to fight then Ken Hayashi has won in the battle to keep MMA out of Ontario, and other provinces like Quebec have no problem opening up their arms to MMA fighters and fans to continue to make them money. I read that almost 60% of the people that bought tickets to UFC 83 in Montreal were Ontario Residents. As long as Ontario MMA fans support out of Province MMA, it will never be sanctioned in Ontario. If Politicians see Native Reserves making money that could be theirs, that’s when it will change.

    If you want MMA in Ontario, then support MMA fighter that fight here!

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  30. Et says:

    Ok, this is getting to be a bit much. There is way to much misinformation on this blog about the IQMMA fights. First of all each fighter IS required a medical before the fights, which is checked out by the doctor before the fights. The doctor also looks at each fighter first. There is no question about it, EVERY medical is accounted for or the fighter doesn’t get to fight. To suggest anything else is preposterous and completely false. I have no idea where someone is getting their information saying that’s not true. Seems someone who doesn’t know is spreading ridiculous rumors.
    Second Krysa was not left in the ring for 45 minutes unattended. The ringside doctor was in the ring immediately, and a team of medics. There was discussion as to whether or not he should leave by ambulance. Anyone ring side would have heard Krysa answering questions and talking with them about his condition.
    And who suggested there was no ambulance on site. Seriously go out the arena doors, you can see the ambulance on stand by.
    IQMMA knew that there was going to be controversy surrounding the fights but really, so much from MMA fans. If the events are so horrible then why would Dan Severn and Gary Goodridge fight? Jeff Joslin, Shonie Carter and Anderson Silva have also been at the fights to show support.

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  31. Et says:

    Also Krysa was back at the fights before they were over, so to suggest that the medics team was not available and didn’t do their job is just wrong.
    The fighters safety has always been the first and foremost concern of the commission, coroporation and IQMMA. To suggest anything other than that is false and whoever is suggests that has clearly not seen all the work going into to ensuring fighter safety comes first.

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  32. Ek….Cageplay also posted on IMMAC. I think it addresses your comments. You can check it out here:

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  33. Et says:

    ok, great thanks

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  34. Matthew Dunning December 18th, 2008 10:16 am :
    “…Also Mark from the FSC does not know his head from his ass.He has been hired and fired by the FSC guys more then 5 times.I was the one sticking up for these guys before.But after last weekend I can no longer do that.From medicals not being done to blood work to no ambulance.Oh and from what Mark wrote saying fighters had time to rest in between fights…”

    I am surprised by your comments Matt.
    I am actually outraged at what you accuse me of and the blame you put on me.

    I suggest if you have any problems with me. Come see me or call me at 647 929 2135.

    That is completely unprofessional to attack me personally especially on a public forum like this.

    I expected more from you.

    I have been blamed for things I am not responsible for and it hurts.

    Thank you all, I am done with these politics.

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  35. I ask that Cageplay or any of my friends point out any other attack on me posted on the Internet, especially from characters like Matthew Dunning.

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  36. # Marc-Andre Drolet December 18th, 2008 1:01 am :
    Q – “As a representative of FSC, can you comment on allegations that the Commission owes FSC money,”

    A – I have never been a decision maker for either party. I had been hired to promote the FSC, their mission and their events. I have been blamed for things I am not responsible for. I am not privy to the money making dealings between the Commission and the FSC.

    Q – “…and that many FSC employees are upset that they weren’t paid,”

    A – I am unhappy and poor. I care not to comment any further on that.

    Q – “…or that fighters weren’t paid perdiums?

    A – I witnessed some fighters getting their perdiums. I don’t know how much each got or whether Matthew Dunning gave his fighter Karlin Armstrong his perdium for instance. You should ask the fighters and the Match Maker of the FSC. Again I am just a promoter.

    Q – “Or that some fighters showed up 2 hours late for the weighins and weren’t fined or reprimanded in any way?”

    A – There was disorganization. I don’t know what the FSC and Commission did to reprimand anyone,


    There, I’ve got to get up early tomorrow for my minimum wage job tomorrow, because they actually pay more than this job. Yay thanks for insulting me Matt. You are a class act.

    Thank you Cageplay. Keep up the good work.

    cell 647 929 2135

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