In one of the most confusing cases of Athletic Commission ineptitude in days if not weeks, the Illinois Athletic Commission has denied pro, world ranked boxer Pawel Wolack’s pro MMA license and have suggested he fight a few amateur bouts to get his legs under him. You know, because he doesn’t already have a pro license in New Jersey.
Now, Illinois does require five amateur bouts before granting a license, but Pawel Wolack is not some green 18-year-old trying his hand at MMA. Putting him in the cage with a green, 18-year-old trying out MMA is flat out dangerous. Wolack is 29-2-1 with 19 knockouts. He’s the WBC USNBC light middleweight champion. He’s been wrestling for years, and he’s been training with Renzo Gracie for two years on the mats specifically for his MMA debut.
The guy is prepared, but Illinois is not.
Illinois would rather put an actual amateur into the cage with Pawel Wolack, with the only differences being that Pawel and the guy taking the beating not getting paid, and no elbows. That’s it. There is no other difference between amateur and pro MMA in Illinois. It seems as if the AC wants to take the sadistic stance of watching up to five people take beatings from Pawel for free… This makes no sense and it makes no cents.
We spoke to Pawel’s incredulous manager, Monte Cox:
“It is both amazing and disappointing that the Illinois Commission doesn’t think Pawel Wolack is ready to fight professional mixed martial arts. How can anybody who understands the sport say that a world-class boxer with a wrestling background and two years of work with Renzo Gracie isn’t ready? The fact that the matchmaker was told Pawel could fight amateur is even more concerning. I can’t imagine any other state commission even considering that as an option.”