Jeff Blatnick has died at the age of 55 due to complications from heart surgery.

Albany, N.Y.’s WNYT first brought word of Blatnick’s passing Wednesday afternoon.

Born in Niskayuna, N.Y., Blatnick became a high school wrestling champion and then earned a pair of NCAA Division II wrestling titles while attending Springfield College in Springfield, Mass. Blatnick qualified for the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow but was unable to compete due to the United States’ boycott of the event. Following a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Blatnick went on to capture Olympic gold in Greco-Roman wrestling in 1984.

The New Yorker made his foray into mixed martial arts as a commentator at UFC 4 in 1994 and remained employed in that capacity through 2001. Blatnick then turned his primary focus to the regulation of the sport, drafting the Mixed Martial Arts Council manual and serving as that body’s chair. He also performed duties as a licensed judge in New Jersey and volunteered as a high school wrestling coach in his home state.

“Jeff should be remembered as one of the most important figures in the growth and formation of MMA in this country,” Nick Lembo, counsel to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, told Sherdog.com. “He was the Chair of the MMAC, a key drafter of the proposed unified rules and an outstanding judge and trainer to new officials. Every fan of MMA owes a debt of gratitude to Jeff Blatnick for how hard he fought for the sport. He was friendly but relentless.

“He was also a dear personal friend and a man of loyalty, integrity and kindness. I will miss him terribly as a friend.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Olympic Gold Medalist Kyle Snyder Wants to 'Fight UFC'

  • 17 days ago
  • 69 views

Dear Heavyweights, I am writing to you to inform you of a possible disaster heading your way. It’s origin is Columbus, Ohio, by way of Woodbine, Maryland. It’s name? Kyle Snyder. The 2016 Olympic gol read news >>

Olympic Gold Medal-Winning Wrestler Kyle Snyder Wants to Compete in MMA | FIGHTLAND

  • 15 days ago
  • 4 views

Photo by Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports The UFC has a penchant for Olympian medallists. Bantamweights Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann both have bronze and silver medals to their credit respectively, wh read news >>

Gian Villante Injured, Off UFC New York Fight Card | MMAWeekly.com

  • 7 days ago
  • 5 views

Gian Villante has been forced off of the UFC 205 fight card due to injury. read news >>

Dan Henderson Compares USADA to Olympic Drug Testing (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 3 days ago
  • 0 views

Dan Henderson weighs in on the current state of drug testing and how USADA's UFC program compares to Olympic drug testing. read news >>

UFC Hamburg Bout Nixed from Saturday’s Fight Card Due to Injury

  • 29 days ago
  • 16 views

One of Saturday's UFC Fight Night 93 preliminary bouts has been cancelled due to injury. read news >>

Augusto Montano Second UFC Fighter at No-Fault in Anti-Doping Case Due to Tainted Meat

  • 26 days ago
  • 18 views

Augusto Montano on Wednesday became the second UFC fighter to recently be found at no-fault of an anti-doping violation due to contaminated meat. read news >>

Nik Lentz Gets New UFC 203 Opponent After Mairbek Taisumov Pulled

  • 25 days ago
  • 6 views

UFC lightweight Nik Lentz has a new UFC 203 opponent after Mairbek Taisumov was pulled from the card due to visa issues. read news >>

McCall-Borg Off UFC 203 Card

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 views

Due to illness, flyweight contender Ray Borg has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 203 bout against Ian McCall on Saturday. read news >>

Miocic vs. Overeem: UFC 203 Odds, Predictions and Pre-Fight Twitter Hype

  • 19 days ago
  • 10 views

With all due respect to CM Punk and Mickey Gall, UFC 203 is all about Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem. Saturday night will see Miocic try to defend his UFC heavyweight title against Overeem, who is read news >>

UFC Statement on CB Dollaway

  • 18 days ago
  • 4 views

UFC announced that CB Dollaway has had to withdraw from his scheduled bout at UFC 203 due to an injury he suffered last night as a result of an elevator accident at a hotel in Cleveland. read news >>