Iroquois MMA Championships not so Bad for MMA
There has been a lot of debate surrounding Marc-Andre Drolet‘s recently posted Cageplay.com article entitled Grand River Athletics Commission is Bad for MMA. To get the other side of this argument, Cageplay.com caught up to the CEO of the Grand River Athletics Corporation and the Matchmaker for the Iroquois MMA Championships (IMMAC), Jason King. King wants to dispel the notion that IMMAC does not make fighter safety a priority and clear up misunderstandings caused by the original article.
Fighter Safety a Priority at IMMAC
In Grand River Athletics Commission is Bad for MMA, there is an account of fighter Bernie Antle being hit with an illegal elbow and then suffering repeated blows before the referee stopped the fight. This occurred on the Iroquois MMA 6 card on November 22nd. Reports from spectators, including Eric Wong, suggested that Antle was injured and had to wait in the cage for 45 minutes before an ambulance arrived at the event. King disagrees, “We have had ambulances present at every fight. I do not know where they are looking because it is parked right beside the arena.” King further adds that the cageside doctor and paramedics immediately were tending to Antle in the cage. These professionals decided that it was better to tend to Antle in the cage rather than moving him. After 45 minutes, they finally brought him to the ambulance which took him to the hospital. “Antle was back from the hospital by around the 8th fight that night and he personally thanked me for the way that we took care of him,” states King. “We do not rush injured fighters out of the cage just so we can get the next fight started.”
Suspended Fighters Not Allowed on IMMAC Cards
King also addresses the allegations that IMMAC allows fighters who are suspended by other commissions to fight at Six Nations’ events. “Iroquois honors all suspensions of all fighters, ” King says. “However, we do not honor suspensions given to fighters just because they fought on our shows.” The Unified Commissions have decided not to license fighters who fight on IMMAC shows (exception is Quebec where William Romero and Markhaile Wedderburn are scheduled to fight on XMMA). This is now up for review with the Unified Commissions and they are expected to issue a statement on this later in January.
However, Bernie Antle was a suspended fighter when he fought on IMMAC 6. He fought on a Raw Combat show on October 25, was TKO’d and then suspended by the Calgary Combative Sports Commission during which he fought for IMMAC on November 22. King responds, “I was told by Bernie’s manager that our show was going to be his first contest. I trusted someone and I guess as we are learning that this sport has a lot of deception involved with it.”
IMMAC is not the only promotion to have made this mistake. The UGC, sanctioned by the Quebec Athletic Commission, allowed Tim Skidmore to fight on their card one week after he was suspended for a month by the Calgary Combative Sports Commission after losing a fight on a Viper MMA card. In fact, the next week Skidmore then approached IMMAC to fight on their September card but was refused as IMMAC would not allow the suspended fighter on their card.
Was Shaun Krysa Suspended?
King also clarifies the Shaun Krysa situation addressed in the Grand River Athletics Commission is Bad for MMA article. Krysa suffered a glancing blow which dropped him in his IMMAC 6 fight. Krysa immediately got up but the referee, worried about fighter safety, stopped the fight. As it was a TKO, the Grand River Athletic Commission suspended Krysa immediately for 30 days. Later, King was told that the sentence was reduced to 15 days after Krysa, a doctor, and the Grand River Athletic Commission reviewed the fight and deemed Krysa healthy to fight on the Fight Spirit Championship card on December 15.
IMMAC Saves Fighters’ Payday and FSC Card
“I nor anyone involved with the IMMAC is involved with the FSC,” King emphatically states. It should be brought to the public’s attention that the IMMAC saved the FSC card after the event was severely mismanaged by FSC organizers. King stresses that “the IMMAC paid for the the show from personnel to the fighters. That is our level of committment we try to bring to the table….The show would not have happened without us (IMMAC) giving reassurances to the fighters that they would be looked after.” Once it was obvious that the card was doomed to failure, the IMMAC stepped in to save the card as it was being held in their hometown and in the IMMAC venue. Without the IMMAC dipping into their own wallet, fans and fighters would have been left without a show and without paydays.
The Beast Returns to the Iroquois Nation
With all the commotion surrounding the promotion, will the IMMAC take a breather for a while and lay low? Not a chance, according to King. King was gracious enough to announce to Cageplay.com readers that Dan “The Beast” Severn will be headlining the IMMAC 7 card on January 24. King is aware that this is the same night as the Affliction card, but rebuts criticism stating, “Card dates are subject to many things including arena availability. Do you really want to spend $50 and watch Arlovski quickly lose to Fedor or do you want to come down and watch live MMA.” This MMA fan always supports the live show. Ticket information for the IMMAC 7 card will be available on the Iroquois MMA Championship website. As always, the card will also be available live online at the website for those who cannot attend in person for $9.99. With the FSC around, IMMAC is not the only promotion in Ontario anymore, but it still is the best promotion in Ontario.
Grand River Athletics Commission is NOT the Grand River Athletics Corporation
It is important to note that Jason King is not a member of the Commission, he is the CEO of the Corporation that runs the Iroquois MMA Championship cards that are sanctioned by the Commission. When asked, Jason was not willing to divulge the names of the members of the Commission. Cageplay.com did find that Corporation President Bill Monture did meet with his Six Nations’ General Council to get approval to form a Commission in December/2007 but was declined (General Council Minutes, December 18, 2007). Cageplay.com will continue its search for the members of the Grand River Athletics Commission for their comments.