The newest commissioner appointed to the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC), Staci Alonso, also works for the former owners of the UFC. Alonso, who was appointed to the commission by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval in December, is an executive vice president at Station Casinos, which is the casino group that is owned by Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta.
Back in July, the Fertittas sold their majority stake in the UFC to WME-IMG for more than $4 billion. The UFC is regulated and sanctioned by the NAC in Nevada. Keep in mind that when the sale went through last year, WME-IMG sent out a press release stating that the Fertittas still own a “passive minority interest” in the UFC. It’s well known that Lorenzo Fertitta had helped the UFC broker deals in the past and most recently did so again when he met up with former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in Las Vegas to negotiate a fight contract for UFC 205 last November.
When Michon Martin stepped down, Alonso was appointed, and per her Linkedin page, she’s the executive vice president of innovation and administration at Station Casinos.
The NAC is the official combat sports sanctioning body of the state of Nevada, which is overseen by the state government and the commission licenses promoters as well as fighters. They also have final say over matchmaking for events in the state as well as issues sanctions to fighters and promoters in doping and disciplinary cases.
What’s interesting is that both UFC parent company Zuffa and Station Casinos were donors to Sandoval campaign according to public records. It’s also interesting that Sandoval’s Election Night party in 2014 was held at Red Rock Resort, which is part of the Station Casinos group that is owned by the Fertitta’s.