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Chat transcript: Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission

July 3, 2008

Keith Kizer

Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, joined readers of lasvegassun.com during a live discussion Thursday afternoon. The chat came two days before a boxing match at Planet Hollywood and perhaps the city's biggest Ultimate Fighting Championship matchup of the year at Mandalay Bay. The full transcript of the chat follows.

Keith Kizer

Hello. I want to thank the Sun for having me on.

moderator

What happened in last weekend's Francisco Lorenzo - Humberto Soto fight?

Keith Kizer

The referee, who has done over 100 championship bouts, determined that Lorenzo could not continue due to an intentional foul (Soto hit Lorenzo in the back of the head while Lorenzo was down). Under the rules, the result is a DQ loss for Soto.

moderator

Do you think the gate for Saturday's UFC fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center will set a record?

Keith Kizer

It depends on how the UFC priced the tickets (with which the Commission has nothing to do). It should certainly be in the top 5 MMA gates of all-time (at the very least).

moderator

Is there any hope for a resurgence of the heavyweight boxing division?

Keith Kizer

We all hope so. Boxers are amazing athletes, and to have an exciting heavyweight division certainly bodes well for the sport.

moderator

Have you have any requests from EliteXC or Affliction to hold fights in Las Vegas?

Keith Kizer

EliteXC has recently filed a promoter's application, which should be on a Commission meeting within the next 45 days. I know they really want to do a show in Nevada, and I think they would do well here.

Affliction has not yet filed an application.

moderator

What are the special difficulties with sanctioning amateur MMA bouts?

Keith Kizer

The most difficult part is making sure the athletes are well matched. The earloer the career, the more difficult it is to know a fighter's true skill.

moderator

Given recent controversy over the Kimbo Slice and Brendan Vera fights, is there any discussion with referees in Nevada about when to stop mixed martial arts fights?

Keith Kizer

In Nevada, whenever there is a controversial stoppage (or non-stoppage) I always ask the referee to explain his or her reasoning. The other referees at the card also give input.

The Commission relies heavily on the skill, experience and vantage point of the referee. The only thing I tell a referee is that if he or she thinks the fight needs to be stopped, then stop it.

moderator

Can you explain the commission's decision on allowing fighters at 135 pounds to use 8 ounce gloves?

Keith Kizer

The Commission changed the glove weights for boxers over 135 lbs. but not more than 147 lbs. from 8 oz. to 10 oz. to see if such a change could improve safety. After an 18-month study, the data was unclear as to which glove weight, if either, was safer. Therefore, the Commissioners decided to give the boxers the choice, as opposed to making it for them. Now boxers in that weight range can choose which size gloves to use (of course both boxers must use the same size).

Keith Kizer

Thank you all for the questions. I always appreciate feedback and comments.

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