According to a notice posted on the California State Athletic Commission’s website, three-year executive director Armando Garcia will submit his formal resignation at the Commission’s November 18th meeting. The Commission will be assigning an interim executive director, as well as forming a search committee to appoint Garcia’s permanent replacement at the meeting. Garcia’s departure has been confirmed with multiple sources at the CSAC, however the reasons for his resignation are unknown.
The controversial executive director holds over 20 years of experience as a boxing referee and judge, and was a major proponent of getting MMA sanctioned in the state of California.
Before Garcia took his post in 2005, there had never been a sanctioned MMA event in the Golden State. After months of lengthy negotiations, Garcia finally got his way. In March of 2005, Strikeforce “Shamrock vs. Gracie” was the first regulated MMA event in California.
Although Garcia played an integral role in MMA’s progression in the state, many always thought that he still favored boxing over the more violent sport of Mixed Martial Arts. In addition, he was at the center of banned substance suspensions for many of the sports most popular fighters.
Former UFC lightweight Sean Sherk, Phil Baroni and Antonio Silva were all handed down suspensions from Garcia. He also refused to approve Nick Diaz’ license for his Strikeforce bout in March after he openly admitted to the Commission that he had a medical prescription for, and was using, Marijuana to help him with his attention deficit disorder and inability to sleep.