Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
After causing a stir on Saturday at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey, welterweight Brandon Saling's tenure in Strikeforce was short-lived. It turns out there may also not be much time left in his mixed martial arts career. According to Executive Director Bernie Profato of the Ohio Athletic Commission (OAC), Saling's fighter license has been revoked.
Profato told MMA Fighting Saling falsified information on his application for a license by failing to disclose he had "ever been convicted of a crime other than a traffic offense". The omission puts Saling in violation of Administrative Code 3773-1-09, clause F, of the bylaws governing MMA in Ohio, which states a fighter's license can be suspended or revoked if he or she "has violated any law with respect to any sports regulated by the commission or any rule or order of the commission or has been convicted of a felony."
Saling is a registered sex offender and was convicted of "gross sexual imposition", a felony, in 2004 in the state of Ohio.
Saling most recently fought in Columbus, Ohio at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey where he lost to Roger Bowling via second-round TKO. His presence at the event disturbed many in the MMA community for his racially-controversial "88" or "Heil Hitler" tattoo on the inside of left collarbone. Upon further inspection of his background, it was revealed Saling was had been convicted of felonious sex crimes.
"Obviously this guy is never going to fight for us again," UFC President Dana White told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani. "For this guy to ever get licensed again he'd have to go before a hearing for the athletic commissions and I find it hard to believe that this guy will ever be licensed again. He better go find another job."
Profato states Saling has been notified by certified mail of the commission's decision to revoke his license and that he is entitled to a hearing. Attempts to contact Saling for comment were not immediately returned.
Saling will tentatively have his first opportunity to challenge his license revocation at the next meeting of the OAC on April 11th. Should he choose to challenge their decision, Profato states he'll be able to use the services of an attorney, witnesses, his own testimony and any countervailing evidence that would ostensibly compel the commission to reverse course.
In addition to his license suspension in Ohio, MMA Fighting has confirmed with counsel Nick Lembo of the New Jersey Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) that Saling's license in that state has also been revoked for falsifying information on his license applications. Saling recently fought in New Jersey at Bellator 59 in November of 2011 and Ring of Combat 36 in June of last year.
At the time of this writing, it's not clear what options Saling has in New Jersey to challenge the NJSACB's decision.
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