The California State Athletic Commission is looking to establish pensions for mixed martial artists, similar to what boxers receive in the state. Joanne Wood, meanwhile, is taking a break from fighting, but plans to return next year. And a brawl erupts at an Indian MMA event, leading to an entire nation of fighters being banned. It’s your Sunday MMA Quick Hits — let’s get to it!
Post-Fight Brawl Erupts at Indian MMA Event, Fighter Injured, Charges Pressed
Matrix Fight Night 9 in New Delhi would likely barely have registered as more than a blip on the MMA map, where it not for some seriously bad behavior outside of the cage.
The event took place on June 24, but reports only began to surface a few days later regarding a post-fight brawl that left a fighter hospitalized, and led the promotion to ban Afghan fighters.
Srikant Sekhar, a local talent who had won earlier at the event against Sumeet Khade, had stuck around to support a teammate, per a report by MMA Fighting. Sekhar had called out Zahor Shah, a former foe and Afghan fighter, after his win. Shah was also on the card, fighting Seth Rosadio, Sekhar’s teammate. That led to some Afghan spectators allegedly harassing Sekhar during the bout; Sekhar admittedly told them “f*ck you.” Things got worse when another fighter from Afghanistan, Abdul Azim Badakhshi, allegedly sucker-punched Sekhar.
At that point, a brawl erupted. Sekhar stated he was assaulted and chased from the venue by dozens of people, with police saving the day. He landed in hospital, with a broken jaw and ruptured eardrum.
“I think they didn’t like me, and at the same time Zahor was also losing,” Sekhar told MMA Fighting. “They couldn’t take it. I ignored that fact and started cheering for Seth as he was getting the finish, and again someone from the crowd threw paper garbage or plastic at me and they were showing middle fingers and looking at me, pointing at me out and mocking me. I got pissed on this bunch and said to them, ‘f*ck you,’ and flipped back.”
Sekhar noted that officials intervened when the crowd began throwing objects, only to be assaulted themselves, along with Sekhar’s teammates.
Badakhshi is facing criminal charges, while the promotion has issued a statement saying that “no Afghan fighter will ever feature on an MFN card again. There is no sport like MMA, and any kind of disrespect and hooliganism will not be tolerated by us.”
Tommy Fury Denied Entry to U.S. Due to Family Ties with Gangster Kinahan
The fallout from the U.S. bounty on Daniel Kinahan has snared boxer Tommy Fury, younger brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
That may put the planned August 6 boxing bout between Fury and Jake Paul in danger.
According to a report by TMZ, Fury was denied entry to the U.S. by Homeland Security this past week, ahead of a planned press conference promoting the fight.
While Tommy Fury doesn’t have any known direct links to Kinahan, who has a $5,000,000 bounty on him for drugs and firearm trafficking, Tyson Fury was formerly managed by MTK Global. Kinahan was one of the company’s founders, although they cut ties with him in 2017 as allegations of drug trafficking and murder swirled.
MTK Global shut down earlier this year, but it seems the feds are going to make life difficult for anyone even remotely connected to the outfit.
Civil Suit Launched Against Target of Velasquez Attack
The target of Cain Velasquez’s rampage earlier this year, who himself is alleged to have abused a family member of the former UFC champion, is being sued.
Harry Goularte, his mother, stepfather (also a victim in the Velasquez attack), and Patty’s Childcare are all the target of a civil suit, representing the victim in the abuse case. Goularte was (and still is) on bail when Velasquez allegedly attempted to murder him, shooting into a vehicle containing Goularte and his stepfather, and wounding the elder man during a high-speed chase.
The suit, obtained by MMA Junkie, alleges that adequate supervision and care to the alleged victim were not provided by the daycare and its owners.
Attorney Warren Paboojian, representing the unnamed complainant in the civil case, wrote in a statement that “The defendant should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. His terrible criminal acts of abusing (my) client should (receive) the harshest criminal punishment available by law. The daycare facility should never operate again. And the owner should be held accountable both civilly and criminally for her neglect. This daycare has a history of neglect when it comes to following state laws pertaining to child safety and care.”
Joanne Wood Taking a Break from MMA, Plans to Resume Career in 2023
Fan favorite Joanne Wood of Syndicate MMA is taking a break from competition.
Social media denizens noticed Wood’s name removed from the UFC’s ranking pool recently, but no, she has not been cut by the promotion. Instead, Wood posted an explanation on Instagram, which boils down to, injuries and some fights not going her way have led her to take some time off.
“I’ve let the UFC know that I want to take the rest of the year off. I had a hard go at trying to stay active there for a bit and between injuries and it not going my way I’ve decided that I need to take some time away from fighting. I am not retired nor am I done, this is far from the end,” Wood wrote.
Her full statement can be read below.
CSAC Moves to Add MMA Fighters to Pension Fund
The California State Athletic Commission is formed a subcommittee to review adding mixed martial artists who compete in the state to the state’s pension program, which currently covers retired boxers.
The pension is available to boxers after they turn 50, with 75 rounds scheduled in the state of California during their career.
MMA Fighting was first to report the news.
The subcommittee will review proposals tabled by CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster this past Tuesday. The commission will need to convince legislators in the state to sponsor and pass in bill in the 2023 legislative session.
The current pension is paid for by a tax on tickets, at 88 cents per ticket and capped at $4,600 per event. Foster is in favor of raising the amount for larger promotions, i.e. the UFC.
“It might make our state more competitive for fighters to want to be here,” Foster suggested.
Hall of Fame Highlights
We caught up with Megan Olivi at the UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, who reflected on some of the iconic UFC moments she’s witnessed over the years.
Jon Anik, meanwhile, represented the late Suzy Friton at the induction ceremony. Fellow UFC broadcaster Laura Sanko fashioned a scarf into a flower, which Anik wore on his lapel in memory of the makeup artist.
Friton, who twice beat breast cancer in her lifetime, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2020, and passed away last September. She touched the lives of many, which is clear from this great collection of tributes to her memory over at MMA Junkie.
McMahon Family Attends UFC 276
On a night where two fighters walked out to WWE entrance themes, the McMahon family — Vince, Stephanie, and Triple H, plus WWE announcer Pat McAfee — turned up at UFC 276 in Las Vegas.
Considering WWE’s Money in the Bank event aired the same night, they must have made a b-line after their own show to catch the fights, and to see Israel Adesanya walk out to The Undertaker’s theme, hat, urn and all.
Vince McMahon on UFC. Wow, what a time to be alive pic.twitter.com/2uv4vahWyX
— Troydan (@Troydan) July 3, 2022
Earlier in the night, Jessica-Rose Clark walked out to “Sexy Boy,” Shawn Michaels’ walkout track. But there was no topping Izzy as the “dead man.”
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) July 3, 2022
Cageside Live Looks at Whether Volkanovski Should Test the Waters at 155
Should Alexander Volkanovski, who walked around at 200+ pounds as a Rugby player, test the waters at 155 in the UFC? That and more in the latest Cageside Live!