“Erection, Your Onion! He’s clearly guilty by reason of creeper facial hair!”
There’s been a fair amount of discussion on the internets about Strikeforce fighter Brandon Saling’s outing as both a registered sex offender and apparent neo-Nazi, and though much of the chatter between commenters was about his presumed white supremacist opinions, athletic commissions care a lot more about the rapey part. And so both the Ohio and New Jersey athletic commissions have already revoked his license for lying about his criminal record.
OAC executive director Bernie Profato told MMAjunkie.com that Saling (8-6 MMA, 0-1 SF) violated administrative statutes when he lied about his criminal background on an application for a fight license.
Saling can appeal the ruling at a OAC hearing planned for April 11.
“There’s a dual thing there,” Profato said. “He’ll have to answer to the falsification, and two, if you read the law, it says they don’t have to license you for a felony. Now, it will be whether they ever license him again because of being listed as a sexual predator.”
. . .
Profato said Saling marked “no” on the part of his application for a license that asks about previous convictions beyond traffic offenses. The fighter was sent notice this morning that his license had been revoked. The administrative action will be noted on a national database that tracks administrative and medical suspensions of fighters.
If Saling is unsuccessful in appealing the revocation, he must wait a year before he is eligible to reapply for a license in Ohio. Other commissions are not required to honor his administrative suspension, though they often do.
But Saling is hardly the only active fighter with a criminal record, so exactly where do the commissions draw the line?
“If it’s homicide or sexual predator, or if you’re applying for a promoter’s license and it’s fraud, or theft in office, you probably aren’t going to get licensed.”
Bottom line, his career could be finished, though lying about his record is probably a bigger issue than the record itself, even with the sex crime on there. Not that I’m defending Saling, but to be fair, Mike Tyson did three years for rape and fought again only five months after his release, and his former manager Don King killed two people and has been sued multiple times, but that didn’t stop either of their careers in the boxing world. And that’s just the first two off the top of my head. Then again, the rules aren’t always applied equally to boxing and MMA, so who knows how this will pan out in the end. Two things we can be fairly certain of though: his one-year suspension will likely stand, and he won’t fight for Zuffa again.