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California State Athletic Commission facing major financial difficulties

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Things are not going well for the California State Athletic Commission. It is having severe financial troubles, and recently censured George Dodd, its executive director, for not telling the board just how bad the money situation is.

MMA Fighting is reporting the group that oversees MMA events is already under water, and could run a deficit of $700,000 by the time the year is over.

"Without the ability to pay for even basic services, the Commission will have no choice but to cease operation immediately and cancel or postpone indefinitely all Commission regulated events," Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) director Denise Brown wrote in a recent letter to CSAC's executive director George Dodd.

Zuffa has three events scheduled for California in the next two months. UFC on Fuel 4 will be in San Jose, UFC on Fox 4 will take place in Los Angeles, and Strikeforce's championship bout between Ronda Rousey and Sarah Kaufman is set for San Diego. None of these events are expected to be affected, but California is a go-to state for Zuffa. California hosted four UFC and Strikeforce events in 2011.

Considering the state's financial problems, it's not a surprise to see the CSAC stumble. California is projecting a deficit of $4 billion and has been running in the red for four years. Its financial problems are so well-known there is a Wikipedia entry devoted to California's budget crisis.

But where the true problem lies for the CSAC is how to dig out of its hole. Without money, it can't run high-grossing events, but without high-grossing events, it can't earn money.

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