Tim Lueckenhoff, Executive Director of the Missouri Office of Athletics and President of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC), is asking the same questions as everyone else in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community.
Why did the events at Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) 14 unfold, what went wrong, and how do we fix them moving forward?
The difference is, the ABC actually has the muscle to do something about it.
To that end, there are some questions the Wyoming Commission is going to have to answer, after it brushed off criticism that it failed to act responsibly last Friday night (April 11, 2014) when Junior Maranhao lost consciousness between rounds, only to be sent back into the cage to finish his fight.
See the video footage here.
In its response to MMAmania.com (read it), the commission branded Maranhao "safe" and insisted that "all necessary precautions were taken," despite the fact that the cageside physician never bothered to examine him. In today's (April 14, 2014) release from the ABC, Lueckenhoff wants to know why.
"As President of the ABC, I will personally be reaching out to the Wyoming Commission today. I will advise Wyoming to review their handling of this particular matter with ABC MMA Officials Training Chair Nick Lembo and ABC Medical Chair Dr. Sherry Wulkan. I will recommend that Wyoming makes all pertinent officials (ex. referee, Inspector, Commission Supervisor, Ringside Physician) available to discuss this matter in full. The ABC has several concerns about the handling of this incident and the later public statement issued by Wyoming."
The incident may have slipped through the cracks altogether; however, cageside commentators Michael Schiavello and Pat Miletich had a bird's-eye view of the action and called for a televised playback of Maranhao's collapse. Shortly thereafter, the doctor waltzed into the cage, asked the cornermen if their athlete was okay, and walked back out.
Someone better have a good explanation as to why, especially in light of recent incidents like this one. Expect more information in the coming days on this still-developing story.