The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) unanimously denied Thomson’s appeal of the result of his fight with Freire from Bellator 172 on Feb. 18 at its meeting Tuesday here.
Thomson lost by second-round knockout, but cited an illegal headbutt from Freire that dropped him in his appeal letter. Thomson believed that, while the headbutt did not directly cause the knockout, the illegal blow contributed significantly to his eventual loss and he was not given any time to recover after it.
In the course of the fight, referee John McCarthy did not halt the action when the incidental headbutt occurred, because it happened so quickly and McCarthy was unsure if a legal or illegal blow dropped Thomson.
“One issue in question is whether the foul changed the momentum of the fight that resulted in my KO,” Thomson wrote in the appeal letter. “The other issue in question is, should my fight be ruled a Technical Draw as the injury I sustained by foul allowed my opponent to win by contributing to the injury I sustained when fouled.”
Thomson, the former Strikeforce lightweight champion, was hoping to have the result changed to a technical draw, because “the injury I sustained by foul allowed my opponent to win by contributing to the injury I sustained when fouled.”
By rule, the foul has to directly cause the finish. CSAC executive officer Andy Foster wrote in his recommendation to the commission that the appeal be denied, because Thomson still had his druthers after the headbutt and put forth offense after it, including escaping from the bottom and a takedown attempt.
“After multiple reviews of the video, we determined that an accidental clash of heads did occur, which caused Mr. Thompson [sic] to fall to the ground, but this was before he stood back up and continued the fight only to be countered with an uppercut causing the knockout,” Foster wrote.
In his letter to the commission, McCarthy wrote that he polled a judge after the finish of the fight and the judge told him a left hook caused the drop, when in actuality it was a headbutt. He also mentioned Thomson’s ability to get up following the illegal blow.
“The real question here is how hurt was Josh Thompson [sic] due to the unintentional clash of heads,” McCarthy said. “This type of activity happens frequently in MMA, but many times the fighters just continue with the action of the fight. Only Josh knows how much the clash affected him. It is clear when you watch a replay of the fight that Josh quickly and skillfully gets himself back to his feet from the knockdown and that the blow, which brought an end to the fight, was completely legal. It should be noted that when Josh was fully back and functioning after the KO he came to me and said, ‘Damn John I got headbutted.’”
The commissioners were unable to watch the replay of the sequence due to technical difficulties with a computer Tuesday. Neither Thomson nor any representative was in attendance.
Freire wrote in a tweet Tuesday that he agreed with the commission’s choice and is willing to grant Thomson a rematch.
— Patricky Freire (@PatrickyPitbull) May 16, 2017
Source:: MMA Fighting