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June 3, 2016

MSAC June 2nd, 2016 - Mitrione Vs Browne / Aiello Vs Cardarelli

The meeting begins with item number 5: Mitrione Vs Browne Change of Decision January 17, 2016, Boston with both fighters calling in.
Matt Mitrione is asking for an extension 'til after his fight on June 24th.  The Commission is reluctant to grant the extension due to the various people that can't be there in person after this date.  Travis Brown is protesting because he is frustrated with the continued delay.  However, if Browne hadn't fouled Mitrione there wouldn't be an inconvenience in his training camp so maybe it's for the best and will help him to remember that eye pokes cause inconvenience for everyone involved.  Both Browne and Mitrione have upcoming fights in June for the UFC and Bellator respectively therefore are unable to travel to MA in the coming weeks.  It's probably for the best since the commission is in flux having lost two members in the last two months and bringing in two new members who are virtually unfamiliar with the issues being raised.  The new date is June 7th at 11 am with most if not all the participants opting to teleconference.  It was also a good decision to postpone due to the absolute absurdity on display with regards to managing the participants who called into Thursday's meeting.  There were no less than four cell phones in use at once with speaker phone activated.  The acting chair, Gary Litchfield, couldn't keep track of who was on which device and with tempers flaring the outbursts from both Referee Gary Forman and Travis Browne added to the confusion.  Litchfield was at one point interrupting the commissioners who'd been recognized and had the floor for speaking to silence both men repeatedly.

Rod Walkey, an investment specialist and campaign contributor of Gov. Baker is newly appointed.  His enthusiasm, attentive nature, and desire to be informed before casting votes can only bode well for the sanctioning body as a whole.  The other member attending Thursday's meeting was Matt Carlin.  Often unseen in meetings of this nature Commissioner Carlin gave the MSAC the numbers needed to hold a quorum.

MSAC Chairwoman LaTeisha Adams called in for the UFC related agenda item, but promptly disconnected once the decision to reschedule the item for the following week had been voted.  This sent a strong message to the promoter and fighters attending in person.  The general consensus being one of increased importance on the well known professional fighters complaints and less concern for the local pros who's complaint mirrored that of the UFC veteran Matt Mitrione and were up for discussion on the same warrant.  It was noted that she is rarely seen personally monitoring the weigh-in process at the local shows in the way she has for each of the UFC events held in MA over the past few years by Cage Titans co-owner, Michael Polvere.

The chair circled back on the first few items which were to approve the minutes from last month's meeting and the approval of suspensions for the New England Fights Aka NEF May 14th event out on the Cape.

Following these votes the commission then took testimony from Mark Cardarelli, Remo Cardarelli, and reviewed a 20 min. video of last month's meeting where Andy Aiello and Joe Lauzon made their case to have the Aiello Vs Cardarelli decision changed to a "No Contest".  Below is the portion of Thursday's meeting dealing specifically with Item 4: Request to Appeal Change of Decision April 9, 2016, Plymouth - Aiello vs Cardarelli.  The video is nearly an hour in length, but that is due to the inclusion of the 20 mins recorded on May 5, 2016.  Feel free to skip ahead to 47min 36sec once you come to the replay of the May meeting at 26min and 40sec or I suggest you watch that as well so that you can get both sides of the coin which may help you to understand how the commissioners came to make the decisions they did in both meetings.

There was a brief discussion with ABC board member / instructor Referee Kevin MacDonald concerning an upcoming referee and judges training/ refresher course to be held at 50 Maple St. sometime following the ABC convention in Vegas later this summer.  Look for an announcement directed to the currently MA licensed refs and judges in late July or August.  This will not be open to the general public, but should you be interested in taking the only currently approved MSAC courses contact Kevin here.

The final item of the day dealt with a new physician moving from Florida that would like to be a ringside physician.  The application was reviewed and forwarded to one of the active physicians already working with the commission as is the usual protocol.  The doctor will review the credentials, interview the applicant, and issue an advisement to the commissioners before a vote will be taken to approve the licensure.

The meeting was approximately 2 hours long.  I'll work on getting it trimmed into chunks so that those wishing to watch for themselves may do so without having to muddle through the items they aren't interested in.  

Congratulations to Mark and Remo Cardarelli.  The commission took your request very seriously and made what I personally feel was the appropriate action once all the facts had been reviewed, testimony given, and brief discussion.  Unforeseen circumstances are just that, unforeseen.  No one was to blame in the end, but had the ruling stood and the decision to declare the fight a "no contest" remained in effect it is my belief the precedent would have been made which would have allowed many more fights to be reevaluated potentially causing financial hardship to the fighters and promoters as well as staining the pride of MMA in MA for years to come.

~Joe Leonard is a mixed martial artist with 7 amateur fights to his record.  He is a regular contributor of articles, photographs, and videos you all enjoy here at and loves that he has the opportunity to be present for so many exciting moments in and out of the cages across New England.  To his credit he's filmed for some of the most well known promotions in ME, MA, CT, NY, and RI as well as the obscure events you only read about here.  He currently is a member of the Go Fight Live Streaming Service New England Team, an active mixed martial arts coach at Ravenous MMA in Greenfield, MA, is a 3 time NAGA No-Gi division champion currently working his way onto the podium in the Mens and Masters Lightweight Expert No-Gi divisions as well as Mens and Masters Purple Belt Gi divisions, and has his sights set on an invite to the EBI submission only grappling tournaments.  He aspires to be an official working in the cage someday soon and maintaining a presence in the MMA community for as long as he is physically able.