On the UFC on FOX 1 prelim card, Robert Peralta landed a combination on Mackens Semerzier, sending him to the canvas, and into his fifth loss in eleven fights. The only problem was instant replay revealed that the combination included a head butt, one referee John McCarthy did not see.
"I did not see their heads clash, causing the knockout," McCarthy explained. "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."
"Once you look at it on the replay, absolutely it was the headbutt that caused it."
"If he appeals it, and I would too if I was him because if you go back and look at the replay, his going down was caused by an accidental collision of their heads. It wasn't intentional on either guy. So he should go to the commission. The commission will look at it, they'll ask me what I saw, and I'm going to tell them what I saw and what I saw on the replay."
Had McCarthy seen the accidental headbutt, sufficient time had passed in the fight so that he could have ordered the fight stopped, and a judges decision made based on the action up to the stoppage.
Even if McCarthy did not see, but suspected a headbutt, California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) rules contain a process for the referee to confer with judges, or instant replay, which was available. However, McCarthy neither saw nor suspected a headbutt, and so these steps were not initiated.
"I don't blame it on the referee," Semerzier today told MMAjunkie.com. "That stuff happens so fast. You have to see it on video to know what really happened. Once the video's played, everyone could see."
In addition to being understanding, Semerzier rightly wants a rematch.
"I think, as a fighter, that would only be right," Semerzier said. "Unless he wants to tuck it in his back pocket and tell people he knocked me out. Because he knows, I know, and everybody knows that's not the case.
"I was a man after the fight, and I hope he's a man in giving me a rematch, or asking for it at least."
In the mean time, Brian Butler-Au of SuckerPunch Entertainment today informed MMAjunkie.com that he has filed an appeal with the CSAC. CSAC Executive Director George Dodd said he would review the appeal when he received it. "If it warranted that it would need to go in front of the commission, I would have the commission review it."
The bout's result could be changed to a no-decision if a formal appeal is successful.
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