NAC dismisses Jake Ellenberger foot wedging TKO appeal

Friday, December 30, 2016

Earlier this month Jake Ellenberger lost a bout in a bizarre fashion. While competing on the UFC TUF 24 finale Ellenberger slipped and his left foot wedged between the mat and the bottom fence.  His opponent proceeded to (legally) rain down strikes until referee Herb Dean called timeout. He inquired if this could be considered an equipment failure, and when told the answer was no called a TKO ending to the bout.

Ellenberger appealed raising several compelling points including questioning the propriety of the referee retroactively calling the bout a TKO stoppage after initially calling a timeout.

Unfortunately for Ellenberger, and in another example of the very restrictive circumstances in which appeals can succeed, the Nevada Athletic Commission dismissed the appeal noting no error in interpreting the rules took place in the bizarre set of facts leading to the end of the bout.

In dismissing the appeal Executive Director Bob Bennett concluded, “there is no provision in NAC 467 that prevents referees from calling a timeout to consult with other officials prior to rendering a decision.” In justifying the outcome despite other occasions where equipment failure/interference led to a timeout and restarting the bout Bennett noted, “NAC 467 does not include a provision that requires the continuation of contests in such circumstances. Alleged precedent does not provide grounds for a change of a referee’s decision“.

A copy of Bennett’s full reasons dismissing the appeal was obtained and these can be accessed here for all interested:
NAC-Letter-to-Ellenberger-Re-Appeal

Author Erik Magraken is a British Columbia litigation lawyer, combat sports law consultant, founder of the Combat Law Sports Blog, and deeply appreciated UGer.