Ricky Simon, John McCarthy & Marc Goddard Speak On UFC Fight Night Atlantic City Controversy

Controversy reared its ugly head at UFC Fight Night Atlantic City when Ricky Simon picked up a third round TKO victory over Merab Dvalishvili.

Simon had captured Dvalishvili in a guillotine choke after a Dvalishvili takedown, a choke that Simon would hold until the bell sounded to signify the end of the third round. Simon would release the choke and Dvalishvili would remain on the ground, seemingly in a state on unconsciousness as the broadcast would go to a commercial break.

The commercial break would end and officials were talking to each other, while the broadcast team would explain that Dvalishvili was apparently choked out and would lose the fight instead of going to the judge’s scorecards. Bruce Buffer would then announce the result of the fight, which would be a third round TKO win for Simon.

Shortly after the fight, a victorious Simon would speak to the media, saying there was no controversy in his eyes about what went down.

“Everyone else might have been confused – I wasn’t,” Simon told MMA Junkie. “I was choking him hard with everything I had, I was trying to stay calm in that guillotine and I felt him go limp there. I stood over his limp body at the end. I saw his eyes roll back. … I was yelling at the ref, ‘He’s out! He’s out! If you want me to keep squeezing the neck I’m going to.’ I felt him, he was out.”

Marc Goddard was an official who was consulting with fight referee Liam Kerrigan after the bout and he says that Simon was rightly awarded the win.

“Even though he (Dvalishvili) came around pretty sharp afterwards, he most definitely lost the fight under the ruling, and the right guy went away with the win,” Goddard said on the Fox Sports 1 post-fight show.

Longtime referee and current Bellator MMA color commentator John McCarthy would share his thoughts on the controversial ending via Twitter:

Dvalishvili is allowed to file an appeal and try to get the fight result overturned, but there is no word yet on whether or not the fighter will go that route.

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