Dean Grafilo has been appointed by Governor Brown to serve as director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), effective March 20.

This is somewhat of a homecoming for Dean as he served as a commissioner on DCA’s California State Athletic Commission prior to accepting his most recent post with the Office of California State Assembly member Rob Bonta, where he served as chief of staff since 2012.

Mr. Grafilo’s long career in state government will be a welcomed asset as he guides DCA forward.

On behalf of everyone at DCA, welcome Director Grafilo!

DCA’s Leadership Team


MMA Event Gets an Unintentional Promo From Hollywood

Mixed martial arts (MMA) and, specifically, the Bellator 170 event at the L.A. Forum in Inglewood on January 21, made headlines last week after gaining attention from an unlikely source–famed actress Meryl Streep.

Bellator MMA boss Scott Coker invited Meryl Streep to a fight after she mentioned MMA in a Golden Globes acceptance speech on January 8. Photo/JOSH HEDGES/FORZA LLC/FORZA LLC VIA GETTY IMAGES; PAUL DRINKWATER/NBCUNIVERSAL VIA GETTY IMAGES

Bellator MMA boss Scott Coker (above) invited Meryl Streep (inset) to attend Bellator 170 after she mentioned MMA in a Golden Globes acceptance speech on January 8. Photo/JOSH HEDGES/FORZA LLC/FORZA LLC VIA GETTY IMAGES; PAUL DRINKWATER/NBCUNIVERSAL VIA GETTY IMAGES

After receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, Streep gave a politically charged acceptance speech, part of which was aimed at Donald Trump’s negative stance on illegal immigrants. It was at that point that she gave MMA and football an unintentional boost.

“So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners,” Streep said, “and if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”

The off-the-wall reference received national media attention, much of it focusing on the fact that MMA is an extremely diverse, global sport. As the Washington Post headline said, “Meryl Streep slammed mixed martial arts. She doesn’t know what she’s missing.”

Scott Coker, the president of MMA promotional company Bellator—which is putting on the event headlined by Chael Sonnen versus Tito Ortiz with oversight from the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC)—seized the opportunity to formally invite Streep to Bellator 170 via Twitter.

Bellator's Scott Coker posted this tweet on January 8, inviting Meryl Streep to attend Bellator 170.

Bellator’s Scott Coker posted this tweet on January 8, inviting Meryl Streep to attend Bellator 170.















There has been no word if Streep will accept the invitation, but the jolt of publicity surely helped shine a light on the worldwide reach and diversity of MMA.


California State Athletic Commission Speaks Out Against Professional Boxing in 2016 Summer Olympics

CSAC_bear_logoCalifornia State Athletic Commission (CSAC) chairman, John Carvelli, expressed disappointment over the decision to allow professional boxers to compete against amateurs in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Read the entire news release here.

CSAC Green-Lights Vargas Title Fight

Thanks to a reprieve in April by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), boxer Francisco Vargas will get his first opportunity to defend his super-featherweight title June 4 at the StubHub Center in Carson.CSAC_bear_logo

After earning his World Boxing Council title and training in his native Mexico, Vargas tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, which is often associated with weight cutting by boxers and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters.

But after Vargas explained to the Commission that clenbuterol is often used in cattle feed in Mexico—and that a large amount of beef served to him by his mother was likely the reason for the positive test—CSAC accepted Vargas’ explanation and allowed his June 4 fight against Orlando Salido to continue. The use of clenbuterol in cattle in Mexico is well documented.

The Commission stipulated that Vargas would be tested multiple times leading up to his title defense. As of May 26, he had passed five drug tests, according to the Los Angeles Times. The fight between Vargas (23-0-1, 17 knockouts) and countryman Salido (43-13-4) will be televised on HBO.

The Commission regulates boxing and MMA in California.


The Fight Against Extreme Weight Cutting

The practice of extreme weight cutting in combat sports—when mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters and boxers drastically lose weight before a fight in order to compete in a certain weight class—has become a chief concern of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), which regulates combat sports statewide.

Weight cutting—often achieved through drastic dehydration—has landed fighters in the hospital with criical injuries and, in the most extreme cases, has been fatal. Through an educational campaign that includes informational flyers and posters detailing the dangers of severe weight cutting, CSAC has become a leading voice nationally in combating the practice.

macro of a doctor's office scale

The Commission recently held a summit in Southern California in an effort to find solutions to extreme weight cutting.

In the most recent issue of Consumer Connection, the quarterly magazine published by the Department of Consumer Affairs, CSAC Executive Officer Andy Foster said: “Dehydration and weight cutting is the most serious issue facing mixed martial arts from a health and regulatory perspective.”

Read the full story on extreme weight cutting, and catch up on the latest news on other consumer-related subjects, in the spring issue of Consumer Connection, which can be viewed and downloaded on the Department of Consumer Affairs website.

State Opposes Professional Boxing in 2016 Olympics


The California State Athletic Commission responds in opposition to International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) decision to allow professional boxers to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Read the press release here.

Cutting Weight and Dehydration Summit: Hosted by the California State Athletic Commission

In the world of combat sports, the practice of cutting weight and dehydrating is not a new phenomenon.  There is a right and wrong way to cut weight.  With proper training, nutrition and patience, a competitor can reduce their body weight in a healthy manner without the potentially catastrophic results of excessive and rapid weight loss.

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), in its effort to champion the pursuit for solutions to reduce and ultimately eliminate the hazardous dehydration/re-hydration cycle, will host a Cutting Weight and Dehydration Summit on Thursday, December 17, in Los Angeles, CA.

The following regulators and representatives from across the nation are expected to attend: Association of Ringside Physicians, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator MMA, Invicta Fighting Championships (IFC), World Series of Fighting (WSF), Resurrection Fighting Alliance and various members of the combative sports industry.

Though progress has been made, it is the hope of the Commission that with collective input during this summit, more will be accomplished to further ensure the safety of those competing.

For more information, visit the Commission’s website at www.dca.ca.gov/csac

View previous blog post on the dangers of cutting weight and dehydrating here



Warning on Dangers of Cutting Weight, Dehydration

CSAC_bear_logoThe California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) and Association of Ringside Physicians are warning boxers and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters about the risks of unhealthy weight loss—known as cutting weight—and dehydrating.

A recent study found that 39 percent of MMA fighters were entering competition in a dehydrated state, according to CSAC. Heat illness and death in athletes have occurred in MMA and wrestling.

Combat sports competitors often cut weight to qualify for a bout or fight in a specific weight class.

It has been shown that excessive or rapid weight loss and repeated “cycling” of weight gain/loss causes decreased performance, hormonal imbalance, decreased nutrition, and increased injury risk. Other serious medical conditions associated with improper weight loss and dehydration include:

Decreased muscle strength and endurance. Decreased blood flow to muscles hinders their performance.

Decreased cardiovascular function. The heart works harder and less efficiently.

Reduced energy utilization and nutrient exchange. With decreased blood flow to tissues, nutrients don’t get delivered, and the body’s waste products are not removed.

Heat illness. This takes on four forms—heat cramps, heat syncope (loss of consciousness), heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, which can be fatal. Dehydration causes a decreased ability to regulate body temperature.

Decreased kidney function. Dehydration leads to decreased kidney blood flow and urine problems. Decreased kidney function also results in electrolyte imbalances such as unhealthy increases in potassium and sodium.

CSAC warns against using extreme methods to making weight, such as excessive heat methods (rubberized suits, steam rooms, saunas) and excessive intense bouts of exercise, vomiting, laxatives, and diuretics.

The Commission recommends athletes commit to a proper diet year-round and train for proper weight control; maintain an optimum state of hydration by drinking fluids throughout the day, particularly during workouts; and be wary of nutritional supplements—they are not regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration and some have been shown to be harmful.

For more information on the risks of extreme methods of cutting weight and dehydration, visit the CSAC and Association of Ringside Physicians websites.