The Michigan athletic commission will be launching an official investigation into the first round of the Gerald Harris vs. Maiquel Falcao fight that ended 6-7 seconds early as Falcao applied a fight ending choke. The commission’s director of enforcement, Barrington Carr, announced the news earlier today on The Fight Show With Mauro Ranallo.
“We have initiated a complaint in the matter,” Carr said. “We essentially are going to be pursuing an investigation to determine the facts, and if necessary, take whatever measures are necessary to address the issue.”
UFC VP of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner told MMA Junkie he has been talking to the commission regarding the matter, and doesn’t believe there to be any foul play.
“There’s no conspiracy,” Ratner said. “In my days as the director of the Nevada commission, there were rare instances of timekeeper errors.”
UFC president Dana White, who like the fans, often finds himself bitching about poor judging and officiating errors, wasn’t at all shocked that the timekeeper managed to screw up too.
“It’s crazy that the round ended early while Gerald was in that nasty choke,” White told MMAjunkie.com. “And Gerald Harris at the end of that first round was out if the timekeeper [expletive] it up by seven seconds. Another half of a second and that dude was asleep.
“But am I shocked that someone screwed up? No. Every event, there’s something. The only thing you can do is just bum out and say, ‘It happened again.’ It’s unbelievable.”
But does that change Dana’s opinion about Falcao treating the third round like it was the “Ultimate Staring Competition?” No, not at all, but he’s not going to get rid of him either.
“I don’t regret those statements at all,” White said. “Look at what a good first round it was. Then you’re going to have a third round like that? Come on.”
“Maiquel won, and he’s going to stick around,” White said. “Anyone who’s dumb enough to think that I wouldn’t have loved for that fight to end in a nasty rear-naked choke is out of their mind.”
We’ll have to wait and see what the commission’s investigation turns up, but my guess is it was nothing more than a simple mistake on the timekeeper’s part. It’s unfortunate Falcao wasn’t given the opportunity to finish the fight in the first round, which would undoubtedly given Dana White a much more favorable opinion of him than he has now, but it certainly could have been worse. The judges could have screwed up too and awarded the decision to Harris. It seems crazy until you think about how many times judges have blundered obvious decisions before.