The Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission takes is proud that the officials assigned to events regulated by the Commission are among the best in the world. The Mixed Martial Arts officials assigned have years of experience in both officiating and practicing the various martial arts that comprise mixed martial arts.
The Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission is dedicated to using only the most experienced, qualified, and competent officials available for every show regulated by the Commission.
George Allen, Head Referee
George Allen has been a practioner of martial arts since 1996. George has refereed over 1200 mixed martial arts bouts and has competed in over 50 mixed martial arts bouts. In 2011 George retired from fighting and applied to be an official with the Georgia Commission. In addition to George’s extensive refereeing and competitive mixed martial arts background, he has 2 amateur boxing matches, 7 amateur kickboxing matches and 3 pro kickboxing matches to his credit. George was trained by world class kickboxing and boxing coach Gary Brown. George holds a purple belt in brazilian jiu jitsu and a black belt in aikido.
Blake Grice, Referee
With over 1200 mixed martial arts bouts to his credit, Blake Grice is one of the most experienced mixed martial arts referees in the world. Blake has been involved in the martial arts since 1999. He began studying brazilian jiu jitsu under Casey Oxendine. Blake fought several mixed martial arts bouts on the Georgia circuit between 2002-2006. He now owns and instructs at his gym in Anderson, SC. Blake is the head Referee for the South Carolina Commission and is also an Association of Boxing Commissions Certified Referee Trainer. Blake holds a purple belt in brazilian jiu jitsu and is a full instructor in Muay Thai Kickboxing.
Derek Cleary, Head Judge
Derek Cleary has trained in martial arts since 1986. First beginning in Karate and later in brazilian jiu jitsu, full contact karate, and muay thai, Derek has one of the most diverse and complete martial arts training resumes in the State of Georgia. Having served as an assistant martial arts instructor at a large Martial Arts School, Derek has served as chief second for many fighters in multiple jurisdictions all over the world. Having started judging amateur kick boxing and amateur mixed martial arts in 2003 he applied to judge for the Georgia Commission in 2008. With over 720 mixed martial arts bouts judged to his credit, he is perhaps the most experienced mixed martial arts judge in the State of Georgia. Derek holds a Black Belt in American Karate, A green belt in Judo, and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Renato Tavares.
Will Fisher, Referee and Judge
Will Fisher has refereed for the Commission since 2008. Will is the only official in the world to enroll and complete every Association of Boxing Commission’s approved training course. Will also assists the Commission with policy evaluations, and serves as liason to potential referees interested in becoming licensed by the Commission. Will holds a blue belt in brazilian jiu jitsu.
Jeff Kemp, Referee and Judge
Jeff Kemp is a life long student of martial arts. He holds the rank of second degree black belt in United Karate under Master Jim Haymore in Gainesville, GA. He has also trained in brazilian jiu jitsu since 2000 as well as several other styles of unarmed combat including boxing, kickboxing, Shidokan karate, and judo. He has also studied traditional weapons. Jeff has competed in over 75 sport karate tournaments and 12 grappling tournaments. He has officiated mixed martial arts events for the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission since 2009. Jeff has also enrolled and passed many Association of Boxing Commission approved MMA official's courses around the country including John McCarthy's C.O.M.M.A.N.D. course in Valencia, CA as well as courses instructed by Yves Lavigne, Marc Fennell, Rob Hinds, Doc Hamilton, and Blake Grice.
Joey Harnist, Referee and Judge
Joey Harnist has trained in martial arts since 1999. Joey began working with the Georgia Commission first as a Judge and most recently as a Referee. In addition to Joey’s refereeing and judging background he is an 11 year law enforcement veteran and former Special Weapons and Tactics Team Commander. Joey holds the rank of purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Phillip Smith.
Ken Coffey, Head Judge
Ken Coffey has trained in martial arts since 2001. Ken has an extensive resume in the sport of mixed martial arts having first began as a promoter, then as a contestant with two mixed martial arts bouts to his credit. In 2008, Ken applied to the Georgia Commission to become a judge. Ken holds a purple belt in brazilian jiu jitsu under Steve Headden.
Nathaniel “Nate” Mann, Judge
Nate Mann has been involved in mixed martial arts judging for the last 10 years. Nate began working with the Georgia Commission first as an inspector and in recent years as a judge. Nate holds a four stripe brown belt in brazilian jiu jitsu and has trained muay thai kickboxing for 6 years.
Brian Elliott, Judge
Brian Elliott has trained in brazilian jiu jitsu for the last 12 years. Having four amateur bouts under his belt, Mr. Elliott decided to retire from fighting and officiate. Mr. Elliott has attended many Georgia Commission training courses and holds a purple belt in brazilian jiu jitsu.
Chuck Phillips, Judge
Chuck Phillips began training Muay Thai in 2002 with Sifu Larry Scott. In 2004, Chuck began to supplement his Muay Thai training with brazilian jiu jitsu and sambo. Having attended many seminars, Chuck applied to the Georgia Commission in 2009 to become an official. Chuck continues to train in the arts of muay thai and brazilian jiu jitsu.
Charles Braun, Judge
Charles began training in Karate in 1995, Han Mu Do in 1998, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2001. Charles has competed extensively on the sport karate circuit. Charles served as head instructor of United Karate Studios Chatsworth between 2004-2009. Charles holds a black belt in American Karate, and minor belts in judo, han mu do, and brazilian jiu jitsu.
John Matlock, TimeKeeper
John Matlock has served as the official timekeeper of mixed martial arts since the sports inception in Georgia in 1997. Matlock also serves as timekeeper for boxing as well. Perhaps the most experienced mixed martial arts timekeeper in the world, John Matlock has held the stop watches and rang the bell for over 1400 mixed martial arts bouts.