A lot of MMA regulation seems to be murky business. It's a sport filled with far more guidelines than actual hard and fast rules and governed by a more or less entirely un-knit network of athletic commissions and regulatory bodies. There are no federal laws overseeing mixed martial arts in the US, so everything is handled on a state to state basis. And those states can vary a lot. One regulation, in the state of Nevada, for instance, stipulates that an MMA manager cannot also be a involved in the operation of an MMA promotion.
It's a pretty straight forward idea that is meant to break up a potential conflict of interest where a party that has a direct financial stake in a fighter's earnings is also in control of booking the cards on which their fighter appears. And in the case of an MMA matchmaker, that also means having some direct control over the contracts of potential opponents; leverage that could potentially amount to benching fighters or pushing them onto under cards for turning down specific fights.
It's those kinds of concerns that may be behind the news that the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NAC) is meeting with World Series of Fighting's (WSOF) Ali Abdel-Aziz. Shaheen Al-Shatti reported the news via Twitter:
NAC exec. director Bob Bennett says he has a meeting today w/ Ali Abdel-Aziz to discuss "operational and administrative concerns" with WSOF.— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) November 30, 2015
What exactly those "concerns" are remains to be seen, but it might have something to do with a recent report from Bloody Elbow's own Paul Gift: Abdel-Aziz's apparent role as matchmaker was brought up in a lawsuit against WSOF, filed by their business partner WSOF Asia, that laid bare what seems to be some sizable internal problems for the promotion. If those reports are true, Abdel-Aziz wouldn't be the first Manager/Matchmaker/Promoter in MMA, so it will be interesting to see what steps the NAC would actually take there. But, the fact that the meeting is happening at all definitely looks like an interesting development. Stay tuned, as we'll be sure to have updates as they become available.