Earlier this week, we passed along the news that World Series of Fighting had cut ties with Dustin Holyko — a prelim fighter who it had booked as a regional draw* for WSOF 11 — after his “SS”/”White Pride” tattoos and lengthy criminal past were brought to the promotion’s attention. Immediately afterwards, WSOF matchmaker Ali Abdelaziz admitted that the promotion doesn’t do background checks on its fighters, which, no shit dude. But allow me to re-post an excerpt from the WSOF’s official statement about the situation:
“Honestly, we were not aware of Dustin Holyko’s criminal record or any potentially offensive tattoos prior to him competing at WSOF 11. He was licensed by the Florida commission prior to the fight, and it was his third professional fight under their jurisdiction”
Here’s the thing, though — there is no record of Holyko actually being licensed to fight in Florida. Via Sherdog:
In a report by The Daytona Beach News-Journal, records show that Holyko held licenses to compete in the state of Florida in 2011 and 2013, but there is no record of the fighter submitting an application for a 2014 license. In addition, no background checks were conducted prior to the commission granting either license.
The report goes on to add that the Florida State Boxing Commission blames the mishap on an “administrative oversight.” Typically, licenses to fight can be submitted to the sanctioning body as late as the weigh-ins, which usually take place the day before the event…
Tajiana Ancora-Brown, the director of communications for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation explained in the article that she believes this “was an isolated event” and as a result a “serious” internal investigation is underway that will take “several days” to complete.
What a fiasco. Did anybody know who this guy was when he stepped into the cage on Saturday? (And is anybody buying the “isolated event” line? The Florida athletic commission isn’t exactly famous for having its shit together.) Then again, if the World Series of Fighting changes its moronic “no background check” policy in the wake of this scandal, it’ll all be worth it.
* Oh yeah, Holyko brought a bunch of his local Florida homeboys to watch him fight, who were apparently shouting racial slurs the whole time.
Holyko may not be actively a member of the neo-Nazi, white supremacist, white nationalist, etc. movements. But he sports tattoos that are directly, indisputably tied to those ideals and thus needs to own the consequences. If you’re “not any kind of Nazi,” it’s a good idea to not get Nazi insignia etched into your skin. And, if you realize that these aren’t the ideals that you want your name associated with, take the steps of getting cover-up work done.
Seriously, dude. Do it. At least for the sake of your tree-cutting business.