Holm appeals UFC 208 loss to de Randamie

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

UFC 208 was capped with a highly controversial main in event; after both the second and third rounds, Germaine de Randamie appeared to land punches after the bell. If referee Todd Anderson had deducted a point, the fight would have ended in a draw, and no inaugural women’s featherweight belt would have been awarded.

Now Holm’s camp has officially appealed the decision with the New York State Athletic Commission.

“This letter serves as notice of Ms. Holm’s appeal of the outcome
of the UFC 208 Featherweight Title fight on February 11, 2017,” wrote attorneys Paul Bardacke and Breanna Houghton.

“Ms. Holm seeks review of Referee Todd Anderson’s failure to deduct one or more points from Germaine de Randamie following her repeated strikes thrown after the horn sounded to end Rounds 2 and 3. Section 212.10(b)(27) of the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) Regulations provides that attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of competition constitutes a foul in a professional mixed martial arts contest. Regulations also make clear that when a foul is committed, the referee “shall then assess the foul to the offending contestant and deduct points . . . if the referee deems it appropriate, and notify the commission, the corners, the official scorekeeper of his decision on whether the foul was accidental or intentional and whether any point deduction . . . is imposed.” NYSAC Reg. 212.10(a). Points may be deducted whether or not a foul is intentional. NYSAC Reg. 212.11. While a referee had discretion whether or not to impose a point deduction, he has no discretion under NYSAC Regulations to disregard a foul where an opponent commits a foul clearly delineated in Section 212.10(b), including by attacking after the bell has sounded at the end of a round.

“Referee Anderson only warned de Randamie following de Randamie’s foul at the end of Round 3, rather than following the end of Round 2. At a minimum, Referee Anderson was required to assess a foul against de Randamie and determine whether one or more points should be deducted following the end of Round 2 as required by NYSAC Regulations. Because Referee Anderson did not issue even a warning—much less assess a foul—at the end of Round 2, de Randamie committed the same foul at the end of Round 3, lobbing two punches at Ms. Holm after the horn sounded to end Round 3.

“Had referee Anderson complied with NYSAC Regulations and deducted points from de Randamie in accordance with Section 212.10 through 212.11, the UFC 208 Featherweight Title fight would have resulted in a draw, if not a win, for Ms. Holm.

“We respectfully request the commission review referee Anderson’s failure to assess a foul and render a decision regarding a point deduction following Round 2, and failure to assess a foul and a point deduction following Round 3, and determine an appropriate result.”

Unfortunately for Holm’s camp, the precedent for overturning a referee’s actions is that the error must be extremely large. Generally, a ref making a mistake is insufficient. A decision can be overturned in the case of collusion, a scoring error, or a referee not knowing the rules. None of these was present, so the chance of a successful outcome for the camp appears slim.

Never the less, this was not stellar reffing.

What do you think the ref should have done? And what should the commission do?