September 12, 2006

by Ken Pishna, MMAWeekly.com
This past weekend in San Francisco, California, Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch and Brian Ebersole were both suspended on the spot following their fight.

Evidently, the California State Athletic Commission believed that their fight was “worked” which means that they did not compete in a true athletic contest, but allegedly conspired to determine the outcome of the fight.

According to Tom Call, who was reporting for MMAWeekly.com at the show, “The fighters barely engaged and were involved in some conversation on the ground. Brian Ebersole was declared the winner initially when Ritch tapped. However the fight was then ruled a no contest and both fighters were suspended indefinitely on the spot my California Athletic Commissioner Armando Garcia. I spoke with George Atkins the matchmaker for the event and confirmed the suspension was for ‘Not fighting’ and ‘putting on a fake fight.’ Atkins then commented, ‘I told them to fight.'”

Ritch has been accused of such occurrences in the past, most notably in a contest with UFC Hall of Famer Dan “The Beast” Severn following their bout on the Extreme Wars X-1 card in Hawaii on July 2, 2005.

Brian Ebersole has not been accused of participating in a “worked” fight before this, as far as I’m aware. If the charges stand, it will be interesting to see how the suspension affects Ebersole’s participation in the International Fight League.

Ebersole was previously chosen by his trainer, Frank Shamrock, to be an assistant coach and the middleweight fighter for the Shamrock-coached San Jose Razor Claws team in the IFL.

Though the Razor Claws’ 5-on-5 series of matches against the Carlos Newton-coached Toronto Dragons will be taking place on September 23rd in the state of Illinois, not in California, it is conceivable that Illinois might choose to honor the suspensions of the California State Athletic Commission until this matter is resolved.