MMA Big Show’s next event, “New Dawn,” is scheduled to take place this Saturday in Indiana. In a now well-known and much-publicized move, “New Dawn” headliner Gary “Big Daddy” Goodridge decided to take a last-minute fight in Japan against StrikeForce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi on New Year’s Eve at the “Dynamite!!” show. As a result of his TKO loss, the Indiana State Athletic Commission has decided not to license Goodridge. As of this past Monday, it was understood that Goodridge would still be allowed to fight. However, that has obviously changed.
Furthermore, due to the actions of the understaffed Commission, MMA Big Show Owner/Promoter Jason Appleton has made the difficult decision to pull the professional bouts off the card. “New Dawn” will continue with a full amateur card, and discounts for Feb 20th will be awarded to ticket-holders. Below is a letter from Appleton:
“Anytime you have a new commission put in place, there are always pitfalls and lessons to be learned. As of December 1st the new commission was activated in the state of Indiana. With a very small staff of 3 commissioners for an entire state, as well as no state funding for their efforts, it’s created more new issues than problems solved. As such there are many lessons to be learned here. As a promoter who has put on some of the best events in the region for 3 years, I’ve never dealt with something quite like this:
#1: Gary Goodridge secretly took a last-minute fight in Japan of which he lost by TKO. Even though the event was overseas and not under any U.S. regulatory body, the Indiana Commission still felt obligated to cancel his fight – Strike 1
#2: Paperwork that is typically handled by commission reps at the weigh-ins for fighters, which the commission usually regulates, were put on me, the promoter, to be done prior to the event. During Christmas and New Year, it’s an impossible task which could easily have been remedied at the weigh-ins by the commission, as should be expected. However, due to the commission being understaffed, they weren’t going to be at the weigh-ins, and therefore couldn’t manage the paperwork – Strike 2
#3: Due to not getting the bout agreement in a timely fashion with one of the other pro fighters, his fight wasn’t going to be allowed either – Strike 3
So, the pro fights have been pulled off of the January 9th event, but the show will continue with amateur bouts.
Let’s face it, a fight is a fight, and [matchmaker] Greg Hupp has put together some very exciting matchups in the amateur division. We lost 3 fights. Though frustrating, it’s not the end of the world. Some of our fans have purchased pre-sale tickets to the event hoping to see one or more of the scheduled pro fights and as such, everyone who has purchased a ticket up to this point will be able to bring their ticket stubs to the sales window and get tickets for February 20th’s TRIPLE THREAT at a $10 discount. It’s something I feel must be done at my own loss to make up for the present situation. I care deeply about Big Show fans and this promotion’s reputation as a whole; however, some things are simply out of my hands.
I hope everyone still views this event as something well worth attending, as the Big Show staff and crew have worked extra hard to bring this event together under mounting odds. We will pull through, and we hope the fans in attendance will enjoy it with us.
The February 20th MMA Big Show event will feature Dave Hess vs. UFC veteran Jake O’Brien, as well as StrikeForce welterweight “Relentless” Roger Bowling and former Big Show Middleweight Champion Mojo Horne taking on opponents to be determined. It will be an amazing night of fights, and we will be going all out to make up for the frustration this January event has caused us all. This will be everyone’s last opportunity to see Roger Bowling before his StrikeForce debut. Fans won’t want to miss it!
Thank you all for supporting our efforts at MMA Big Show, and we are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. Its garbage and I know it. I’m just as angry. The staff at the Indiana Commission isn’t all to blame. I’ve spoken with several of them through the past couple of weeks, and they are all under the mercy of state law, no matter how wrong or frustrating it is for them. They are good people who have worked hard to help try and make this all work, but it just wasn’t possible for this event.
We hope to see all our fans this Saturday for what will still be an exciting event, and we look forward to the Feb 20th event as well.