Cassie Crisano, In Response To Being Struck

925_lgAt Fighter Girls, Debi and I were appalled to hear about the incident this past weekend of Frank Lester striking his girlfriend’s opponent, Cassie Crisano, at weigh-ins for the “Battle of the Spartans” in Fredericksburg, VA. There is no excuse for this and it is a dark shadow on WMMA.
We wanted to post this story earlier this week, but also wanted to make sure of the facts. Crisano was gracious enough to send us a statement of the event.
“I am quite disgusted and embarrassed that my name is being slandered because of this terrible incident. It’s horrible and I wish it never happened, but unfortunately I can’t control how other people act, only how I respond to their actions. I have never disrespected or treated another person the way I was treated that night and if I was present for someone else being treated that way I would have stood up for them. It saddens me to think that people are not only OK with what they both did, but think such actions are the norm. I find their behavior as representatives of the sport to be not common place, and a perfect example of how NOT to act. Young people look towards athletes in MMA to be role models, and as fighters it is our responsibility to act accordingly. I do not condone such attitudes or antagonistic behavior in or out of the cage,” states Crisano.
Crisano was set to fight Shani Rusth in an amateur bout this past Saturday (the fight did not take place). On Friday night, Crisano had to arrive at the weigh-ins late due to her work schedule. She was greeted with angry words from Lester and girlfriend, Rusth. Crisano was then asked to step behind a curtain to strip down to make weight, as she did Lester and Rusth pulled back the curtain yelling at Crisano. The curtain fell and exposed Crisano to the entire bar as Lester and Rusth continued to yell expletives at Crisano (she was initially 2.4lbs. over with her street clothes on). Amongst the yelling, Rusth spit in Crisano’s face and Lester struck Crisano with a closed fist to the right side of her face. Crisano’s friend was also struck by Lester. Lester fled the scene and was soon followed by Rusth. Police were called to the incident and criminal charges were filed on both Frank Lester and Shanie Rusth and warrants set in the state of Virginia for both. (Lester has pending assault charges from November 4, 2012 and was released on bond.)
While this is a direct statement from Crisano, there is no excuse for Rusth’s and Lester’s behaviors. They were not contacted for a statement.

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