Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett is stepping down.

During a monthly NAC conference call meeting held Wednesday, Bennett officially announced his plans to retire at the end of 2021.

In an official recommendation, Bennett suggested chief assistant Jeff Mullen replace him. The recommendation was unanimously echoed by the rest of the commissioning board and approved for submission to the Governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, for final approval.

“I never said it would be easy,” Bennett said. “I only said it would be worth it. That captures my last seven-and-a-half years. It’s been a team effort. I’d like to thank the fighters, because without them, we wouldn’t be here. It’s been a privilege to serve in this capacity.”

In an emotional series of comments, Bennett’s fellow commission members thanked him for his service and gave glowing reviews about his passion and camaraderie throughout his tenure.

A former FBI agent and boxing judge, Bennett was named NAC executive director in 2014. He oversaw seven-and-a-half-years of licensed combat sports events in Nevada.

As for his proposed replacement, Mullen enters the fold with over 40 years of combat sports involvement. Mullen formerly served as the executive director of the Tennessee Athletic Commission, an MMA judge (dating back to UFC Ultimate Ultimate 96), a fight promoter, and a martial arts instructor at his own gym. Mullens also currently serves on the MMA Officials Development Committee of the Association of Boxing Commissions.

“I’d like to recommend chief assistant Jeff Mullen, who I believe is imminently qualified for this position,” Bennett said. “The reason for that is, of course, his No. 1 priority is the health and safety of the fighters. He has a wealth of experience in unarmed combat. Over the last 40 years, he has successfully regulated UFC and boxing events efficiently and effectively.

“He’s committed to our in-depth process of approving fights. He’s knowledgeable about all of our officials and positions. He makes judicious officiating assignments all in the best interest of the fighters. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of instant replay. His integrity and loyalty is second to none. And with that, I submit my recommendation for my replacement.”

American businessman Jim Murren was also present as the newest appointee to the NAC. Murren was the CEO of MGM Grand Resorts from 2008 to 2020. He is a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council and was appointed by Governor Sisolak to lead a COVID-19 task force in Nevada.

In 2017, Murren purchased the San Antonio Stars, a WNBA team, and relocated them to Las Vegas. He has also publicly pushed for an NBA team to come to Nevada.


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