Fight and Fitness' last smoker of the year
was planned to take place this Saturday, right before the end-of-the-year party, but was canceled pretty much at the last minute by the CSAC, the California State Athletic Commission. Needless to say, that was a big blow for everyone involved, especially the fighters, who usually go through a grueling preparation to get in shape.
What is more worrisome is that until further notice, it seems that all smokers are now suspended in California
. I could not find anything on the CSAC
's website yet, but the decision would not surprise me. With the recent explosion of mixed martial arts in the US in general, and in California in particular, the commission has stepped in to prevent abuses by promoters, and protect fighter's safety, which is a great thing.
What is unfortunate is that Smokers are a crucial institution in a fighter's development. Smokers are small-scale, non-professional fighting events, held at a gym but opened to fighters of other gyms; they provide an irreplaceable venue to gain a first experience of competitive fighting and meet fighters trained in other places.
The obvious solution to the issue would be to make all smokers official amateur events, but I assume the organization will be more constraining, and impact negatively the number of events. On top of that, it seems that the CSAC is already struggling to keep up with the growth of MMA, with an administrative backlog, and regulations still in flux (see for instance the polemics that surrounded the drug appeals procedures of Sean Sherk recently).
Let's hope that the CSAC is prompt in proposing a reasonable solution, so that we can all keep merrily and safely beat each other up in good spirits in 2008!
Labels: Fight Scene, mma