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Monday, December 1, 2008

New Era Fighting Lawsuit Threat Pressures CSAC Head Garcia’s Resignation

Courtesy of Full Court Press:

IRVINE, California (December 1, 2008) – The recent resignation of embattled California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) Executive Director Armando Garcia apparently came from pressure applied after it was announced a year ago that New Era Fighting (NEF) was filing a $500,000,000 lawsuit against Garcia, alleging a pattern and practice by the California State Athletic Commission of intentionally, willfully and viciously interfering with a licensed and approved event, which effected and injured New Era Fighting in the same or similar fashion as other mixed martial arts promoters, managers and fighters.

In addition to Garcia, the California State Athletic Commission, Frank Munoz (CSAC Staff Services Analyst), and the State’s Department of Consumer Affairs were also named in the lawsuit, presently in the investigation process for loss of revenues (past, present and future), film production, media exposure, credibility, television show, venue deposits, fighters and opportunity costs.

“I want to take the time to thank all of the promoters, fighters and members of the press who have come forward to give me their story against CSAC and Armando,” NEF president Ron Kort said. “There appears to be one underlining fact in all the information provided by supporters of New Era Fighting’s movement to clean up the industry – someone was helping Armando. This is just one small victory in a larger puzzle. We are in the process of a much larger investigation dealing specifically with corruption in the industry and where that corruption stems from.”

NEF was given a cease and desist order by the CSAC, issued only minutes prior to and forcing the cancellation of NEF’s much publicized scheduled tryouts on July 19, 2007 in Montebello (CA). The CSAC claimed Kort wasn’t a licensed promoter despite having approved his application, issuing a promoter’s license, and cashing his check in 2007 for the renewal of the promoter’s license.

The CSAC responded by announcing a review of NEF’s promotional licensing renewal, incredibly, 10 months after the CSAC cashed NEF’s check for its 2007-2008 promoter’s license, and two weeks after a legal claim had been delivered to the State.

The CSAC, under Garcia’s direction, has been linked to numerous improprieties including alleged corruption, superseding its authority, double bonding promoters, protecting or favoring specific MMA promoters, and unfairly treating some MMA promoters such as Kort.

“I believe, based on information we have today, that New Era Fighting’s actions contributed to Garcia’s resignation,” Kort continued. “I can’t believe how many people came forward with stories of abuse regarding Garcia and the CSAC. There were numerous complaints by promoters, as well as fighters and even the media. I think it’s obvious that Garcia’s appointment as executive director of the CSAC was improper due to his lack of experience in this arena, which thankfully came to light. Our investigation was launched and is ongoing.

“New Era Fighting has regrouped and soon we’ll be making a major announcement about our worldwide plans. NEF is for the fighters, by the fighters. MMA promoters will never have a level playing field until the MMA industry is cleaned up. Armando being forced to resign is just one piece of a larger puzzle. How does a guy have $350,000 in cash sitting in his locker on a state employee salary? After all, I wasn’t aware that promoter can pay state paid employees in cash. One obstacle is out of the way, Armando Garcia. The reality is one guy can’t be that bad without some help. MMA promoters, fighters and fans in California had something to really be thankful for on Thanksgiving. We continue to request your stories and support be sent to fightback@newerafighting.com. Any and all support is greatly appreciated.”

NEF, based in Irvine, California, is a mixed martial arts fighting organization that combines the raw brutality of mixed martial arts with entertaining, sexy and dramatic themes

If you have been victimized by the CSAC, feel free to confidentially share your experiences by sending emails to FightBack@NewEraFighting.com. Your names and identities will be used only with your express permission to use them.

NEF, on a temporary basis, has opened up its weight divisions to include lighter weight fighters for an international promotion scheduled to be announced within the next 60 days. All fighters interested in an MMA career should submit their fight pictures, preferably video, to submissions@newerafighting.com.

For more information about NEF call 714.973.3053/714.448.9999 or go on line to www.NewEraFighting.com.

Bob Trieger