Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 | 6:18 p.m.
Keith Kizer never saw a long-term future regulating fighting in Nevada. His passion was always practicing law.
Kizer resigned today from his post as the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission after nearly eight years, returning to his previous job in administrative law with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office. His last day with the commission is Jan. 27.
“I told myself five years and it’s been almost eight. I had a good run,” Kizer said. “I’m a lawyer by trade. I never expected to be the executive director. I wasn’t planning on doing this until I was 100.”
The commission regulates boxing, mixed martial arts and other combat sports. It issues licenses, collects fees, assigns referees and coordinates with promoters.
Kizer guided the commission to its strongest years with regard to health and safety and fiscal soundness, said Francisco Aguilar, the commission’s chairman.
Kizer’s biggest achievement was implementing more aggressive drug testing. They went from testing a handful of fighters to testing all participants. He also helped start out-of-competition testing.
And, Nevada had some of its largest gates — Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s September fight set a state record with $18.6 million in ticket sales — during his tenure.
“We had the biggest MMA and the biggest boxing cards under my watch. It was a great honor to be part of that,” he said.
Aguilar says they will look for a temporary and permanent replacement. He has a small list of candidates for the interim position, but was not prepared to release those names.
The commission is regulating UFC 170 on Feb. 22 at Mandalay Bay and major boxing cards in March, April and May.
“We need someone temporary to keep the office moving so the promoters don’t feel a glitch,” Aguilar said.