Last week the Calgary Athletic Commission stood by it’s ref Len Koivisto after he left Kim Couture unconscious in a choke for a good ten seconds before stopping her fight. They cited his 23 years of refereeing and ‘professional’ conduct as reasons why they supported him – not like that has anything to do with what went down the night in question. What they forgot to mention was how he failed Big John McCarthy’s COMMAND certification program:
Here’s the twist… the sad, unfortunate, you’re-really-dropping-the-ball-here-CCSC-twist: Mr. Koivisto has taken the COMMAND course before and he failed miserably; and this was the COMMAND Judges Certification course. As a graduate of that same program, I can tell you that it’s daunting. I can also tell you that having passed the Judges course in no way qualifies me to referee a mixed martial arts bout, so how does a history as a boxing official and a failing grade on the easier of the two COMMAND courses justify Mr. Koivisto being the third person in the ring for MMA events?
By all accounts the judging course is actually easier than the refereeing course, so this kinda like finding out your university professor flunked out of college. It’s already pretty lame that officials don’t have to go through these kinds of certification. Now we’ve learned they can actively fail them and still be allowed to continue as if it was no big deal. Athletic commissions, you always find new and impressive ways to disappoint.