Sakara’s manager denies shots were to back of head, plans appeal
In the first round of the final UFC 154 prelim bout Saturday night, Alessio Sakara dropped Patrick Cote with elbows. Cote hung on to a single leg, as Sakara based and countered with hammerfists, several of which landed to the prohibited back of the head area.
Cote slumped semi conscious to the mat, referee Dan Miragliotta stopped it at 1:26, and appeared to signal that Sakara was the winner. The Canadian crowd booed angrily.
However, after a short commercial break, Cote was declared the winner, by disqualification.
“(The stoppage was) way late,” said UFC President Dana White. “I haven’t heard anything about (Cote) that he’s not okay but that was a horrible job. I counted between seven and nine illegal punches to the back of the head. It was crazy. (referee Dan Miragliotta) was just standing there watching it. Didn’t jump in, didn’t do anything. And I’m pretty sure, I think it should have been a no contest, not awarded to Cote, but a no contest. But, horrible, really bad.”
Meanwhile, Sakara’s manager Lex McMahon is denying that the shots were to the back of the head, and plans an appeal.
“We’re going to be appealing the decision,” said McHamon. “I’ve already spoken to the commissioner. There was no verbal warning given. At no point did [the ref] try to intervene. When you stop it, you stop the fight. The blows that were allegedly behind the back of the head… when Alessio was making his blows he wasn’t going 12 to 6, he was coming around to get to the side of the head. If you watch the tape I think it would clearly show that.
“To create a judgement in Montreal for Patrick Cote … when I spoke to the Commissioner they said listen, we viewed it and that’s the way we see it. Not very objective at all.”