Unless you were at the Honda Center or watched the UFC on FOX 1 prelims on your computer, you probably didn’t see the controversial ending to the Mackens Semerzier vs. Robert Peralta fight last Saturday night.
Officially, Peralta won a TKO stoppage in the third round over Semerzier. In real-time, it appeared that Peralta dropped Semerzier with a punch, but as you can see from the slow-motion gif above, Peralta knocked him down with an accidental headbutt.
In California, where the bout was contested, the referee does have the option to stop the fight and review the tape to see if a foul occurred per Rule 519 from California’s Statutes and Regulations.
§ 519. Suspected Fouls.
If an injury occurs due to a suspected foul that the referee was unable to see, the referee may, in his sole discretion, confer with the judges to determine where the foul may be placed. He may consider any, all or none of the opinions expressed in making his determination. The referee may, in his sole discretion, ask for a replay, if television equipment is available, of the technique in question before rendering his decision.
That’s what should have happened, but problem was referee “Big” John McCarthy didn’t see it from the angle he was standing at.
“I did not see their heads clash, causing the knockout,” McCarthy said. “Because if you look where I was at, Robbie’s head was toward me, so Semerzier’s head was on the other side, and they both threw a left hand and then a right hand that came across, and I thought those punches were what caused Mack to be hurt. (I) didn’t even know that it was a headbutt.”
According to CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd, they will review the fight if Semerzier files an appeal, and not surprisingly, he has. It’s my understanding that if Big John had seen it and determined it to be an accidental foul, the fight would have went to the scorecards. But since that small window of opportunity is now closed, the best Semerzier can hope for is a no-decision and a rematch. Considering how obvious it is from the replay, it would be an injustice if the commission doesn’t come to that very conclusion.
Gif via IronForgesIron.com