The first fight to take place at UFC Fight Night 100 saw Darren Stewart defeat Francimar Barroso via TKO, which was set up by an accidental headbutt from Stewart to Barroso that the referee didn’t see.
The Brazilian Athletic MMA Commission (CABMMA) issued a statement today stating that the fight has been overturned to a no contest because they feel that the referee missing the headbutt led to the finish of the fight.
The full statement from the CABMMA reads:
“After receiving Francimar Barroso ́s formal appeal on November 19, 2016, the Brazilian Athletic Commission (CABMMA) has done a detailed analysis of the newly implemented "Instant Replay" guideline as a tool to insure fairness in the match and a proper outcome at the conclusion of the fight.
Due to the complexities involved in the sport of MMA, the referee may only use "Instant Replay" when he/she feels that a "Fight Ending Sequence" was possibly caused by an illegal action (foul) whether intentional or unintentional. At such time, the referee and only the referee may call for a review of the last moments of the fight. Once reviewing the replay, the referee, with or without the help of the other assigned referees of the event, can either confirm or dispel whether the foul was committed that brought about the fight ending sequence and take the appropriate actions from there.
If a referee utilizes "Instant Replay", the information obtained from the replay cannot be used to restart the fight as the fight is officially over and may not be resumed.
The sole purpose of "Instant Replay" in MMA is to allow the referee to make a correct call on the outcome of the fight in calling:
a. A winner of the match
b. Having the fight go to the judge’s scorecards for a Technical Decision
c. Is the fight going to be a "No Contest"?
Below are the facts, related to the case, seeing the replay from the referee ́s perspective:
(i) The contact seen from that angle and the speed in which occurred was interpreted as part of a moving in attempt to clinch the opponent.
(ii) The referee did not identify it as head butt and told the fighter to continue on fighting.
(iii) As they were clinched on the fence, the referee told again the fighter not to stop, either to defend or to continue on fighting.
(iv) The fighter had plenty of time to defend himself or fight, as he continued on signaling to the referee the possible illegal blow, but chose not to do so.
(v) The fighter wanted to use that possible illegal blow to stop the moment as he was being pressured to the cage.
(vi) The fighter was taken down, ground and pounded, and the match was brought to an end.
Below are the facts, related to the case, seeing the replay from the Commission ́s/Regulator perspective:
(i) The contact of the head to any part of the body, when not in a push but rather in a clash movement, can be considered a head butt.
(ii) The intensity of the blow cannot be measured, even when bruises, cuts or fractures are not identified.
(iii) The fighter signaled to the referee the possible illegal blow.
(iv) The fighter stopped his action, fighting and/or defending, due to the possible illegal blow.
(v) The fight ending sequence started due to the possible illegal blow.
(i) The referee would have acted differently and asked for time out if he had seen the incident from a better position/angle in the cage, even if not entirely sure of what caused it, since it was being signaled to him by the fighter.
(ii) After the time out, and normal/event replay shown on the big screen and referee identifying it as a contact of head to face, would have given a strong warning to the opponent, advising him to be more careful with clinching attempts using ‘‘head in’’ first movements/contacts. If not identified as it, but rather a normal blow (elbow, punch) and understood that the athlete was trying to misguide the referee to break that moment, the referee would have called the result as a TKO or desistance, since it was the fighter that signaled to the referee to interrupt the moment. But for this case, it should be considered as an unintentional foul.
(iii) The incident did have an effect of the outcome of the fight since it was part of what ended the fight.
Consequently, after reviewing the case, the Executive Committee has understood that the sole purpose of the "Instant Replay" was not properly achieved, therefore decided to overturn the result of Barroso vs. Stewart bout and is officially determining it a NO CONTEST.”
Barroso issued a statement to MMA Fighting on the decision rendered by the CABMMA…"I’m really happy. You have no idea how upset I was because of what that referee did. He was right in front of me and no way he missed that headbutt. I was so upset I couldn’t sleep and eat after that fight. It was so unfair because he saw everything and didn’t do anything. I’d never be over it."
Neither the UFC or Darren Stewart have issued a statement on the CABMMA’s ruling.