Absolute Championships Berkut, a Russia based MMA promotion made their promotional debut in Austria last month with ACB 52.
While the show faced problems before it even began, as seven Russian fighters on the card never received their visas and were forced off the card the day before the event occurred, it was something that happened after ACB 52 that caused an uproar with British MMA officials (who officiated and acted as judges for the event). Bloody Elbow first reported the story.
ACB officials decided to overturn two results on the show, the first one being a a TKO victory for Patrik Kincl over Arbi Agujev, which was changed to a no contest by ACB MMA owner Mairbek Khasiev.
Keep in mind that there is no athletic commission in Russia, so fight promoters are free to overturn results on their own, which ACB officials have done multiple times before.
Kincl issued the following statement after the fight was overturned to a no contest (it was translated from Russian by Google Translate):
"I do not think the ending was controversial. I dominated almost the entire second round and I also had the upper hand in the first round. He could defend, but his defense was passive. I did not give him a chance to catch his breath, so he considers it a fair decision. Rather you should ask the opponent, how much I bungle it. I guess my punches him serious harm. I've seen many cases where after the end of the duel athlete jumped up and said that's fine. But it seemed to me was that I knocked out opponent. Physically, I was better prepared. Along with fans from the Czech Republic who came to support me, we have won this battle, period, " said the winner of the combat Patrik Kincl.
The second fight that was overturned by Khasiev was a Joao Luiz Nogueira decision victory over Shamil Nikaev. That to was overturned to a no contest.
ACB MMA did issue the following statement on the decision to overturn the result of the Nogueira/Nikaev fight:
“The result of the Shamil Nikaev – Joao Luiz Nogueira fight changed to NC (No contest). On Friday the ACB office received reports from the independent judicial experts from Russia and Europe. 12 of the 12 judges awarded their points in favor of Nikaev. They are the experts from Russia Viktor Korneev, Maria Makhmutova, Ahmed Baysultanov, Magomed Magomedov, Yuri Batman, the Polish judge Pawel Harasim and many others. As a result, the promotion has changed the decision of judges who served the ACB 52 tournament in Vienna. Beginning from the next ACB tournaments the judge panel will be radically revised.”
It should also be noted that ACB MMA promoter Mairbek Khasiev runs the Fight Club Berkut gym, which a good portion of the fighters who compete in ACB MMA train at.
With all of that being said, British MMA officials, upset at the promotions decision to overturn the results of the two aforementioned fights, will not be participating in any shape, way or form when the promotion debuts in England this March.
British MMA officials released the following statement to Fighters Only magazine:
”Without any sign of judge corruption or incompetence, as a group of officials we feel it is a hugely dangerous and unprecedented step to change a unanimously agreed decision after the event. Also, in the main event, referee Neil Hall called a stop to the contest declaring Patrick Kincl the winner via TKO. Mr Hall made his assessment that Agujev was no longer intelligently defending himself in mount, and stopped the bout in the interest of fighter safety. This result was also later overturned to a no contest by the promotion.
'In the interest of supporting the Unified Rules of MMA and respecting the performing athletes, all the British staff listed above feel that officiating positions within the ACB organisation have become untenable.'”
The promotion is set to debut in Manchester, England on March 11 with ACB 54, such notables as UFC veterans Luke Barnatt, Vinny Magalhaes and Pat Healy, plus others like Bellator MMA veteran Brett Cooper are expected to compete on the card.
View the discussion thread.