Michael Lynch is out as WAMMA’s COO. Guess who’s taking his place, at least for the time being? None other than Mr. Five Oz. himself, Sam Caplan.
Question: Is this going to hurt Sam or help WAMMA?
Orlando, Florida — The World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA/www.GoWAMMA.com) announced Thursday that noted trial attorney Michael Lynch has resigned from the organization as its Chief Operating Officer.
Lynch was a founding member of WAMMA and had served as the fighter and fan-forward MMA sanctioning body’s COO since its inception in September of 2007.
“We are sad to lose Mike, as he was one of the driving forces in helping launch WAMMA from a concept into a living, breathing organization,” said WAMMA CEO Dave Szady, a 33-year veteran of the FBI. “Under Mike’s watch we’ve crowned undisputed champions at heavyweight and lightweight and have developed numerous partnerships with high-profile companies in the industry.”
According to Szady, Lynch is leaving under amicable terms in order to pursue a new opportunity within the mixed martial arts industry. For Lynch, his decision to leave his day-to-day role with WAMMA comes with mixed emotions.
“I have made incredible friends during my time here at WAMMA and wish the organization the very best,” said Lynch. “Over the past year and a half, WAMMA has become ideally positioned within the MMA community. Our rankings are the gold standard of the industry and our WAMMA belts have become synonymous with the very best in the sport. I am confident that WAMMA will be an important part of the MMA landscape for the long-term. Thank you to all the fans, fighters, promotions, partners and friends that have helped make WAMMA a success.”
Lynch will remain active with WAMMA as a consultant and will also continue as one of the organization’s leading shareholders. He did not elaborate on his future plans but has indicated that the new opportunity was an exciting online venture and that will entail of combination of MMA, fun and skill. Lynch said he expects an announcement within the next 60 days.
“Folks will be very excited to see what I have in store,” he added.
Sam Caplan, recently promoted to the position of Vice President of the organization’s male and female top ten fighter rankings, has been asked to serve as an interim replacement for the next three months.
Caplan is the founding owner and president of Combat Sports Media, LLC., the parent company of the popular MMA web site FiveOuncesOfPain.com. He will continue to preside over Combat Sports Media during his interim term but will be taking a leave of absence from his editorial duties at Five Ounces of Pain.
“Mike’s departure comes at a crucial time for WAMMA and we felt that now is not the right time for an exhaustive search to find his replacement,” Szady began. “We’re very fortunate that we have someone as experienced as Sam that is able to step up on an interim basis. He’s already been an integral part of our growth and we believe he can help WAMMA continue to expand.”
According to Szady, Caplan is a candidate to be named Lynch’s permanent replacement at the end of his three-month term.
“Sam came highly recommended and members of our board wanted Sam to accept the position on a permanent basis,” Szady commented. “However, being COO of WAMMA is a full-time job and Sam is involved in several other projects at this time. Sam has pledged that he will either be prepared to accept the role on a full-time basis in three months or be an active part in helping secure a permanent replacement.”
Lynch was pleased to learn of the news that Caplan has agreed to serve as his replacement.
“Being COO of WAMMA is a unique position that not everyone is qualified for. However, Sam has a tremendous reputation within the industry and I couldn’t think of a better replacement,” Lynch stated. “Sam has been involved with us since day one and since that time his role has increased steadily over the past year and a half. WAMMA is in good hands.”
Caplan believes that WAMMA’s involvement in the sport of MMA can help contribute to is growth and is looking forward to serving in his new role.
“I consider Mike a friend and not to have him with us on a day-to-day basis is disappointing,” said Caplan, before adding, “Thanks to his tremendous sacrifices, WAMMA has gone very far in a relative short period of time. We’ve made a lot of progress towards our goal of crowning undisputed champions in every major weight class and the last thing I want for WAMMA is to see it lose momentum. My primary motivation for getting involved with WAMMA was that I believed it could serve as a tremendous boon to the industry and I want to do my part in contributing to the movement.”