THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/16: Holm files letter of appeal to NYSAC over late punches, Brunson plans to appeal too (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Anderson Silva (yellow) vs. Derek Brunson (photo credit Ed Mulholland © USA Today Sports)

The New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) has sanctioned three UFC events since MMA was legalized in the state last year. Short for the error in tabulating the scores of the Tyron Woodley-Stephen Thompson fight at UFC 205, the first two went off without a hitch. But after last weekend’s UFC 208 from Brooklyn, two fighters are appealing the results of their fights due to decisions made by State appointed referees and judges.

Holly Holm lost her five-round main event fight to Germaine de Randamie by three 48-47 scorecards. Holm isn’t arguing the scores themselves necessarily based on what happened, but she does feel that referee Todd Anderson should have intervened and deducted de Randamie at least one point after she three repeated strikes after the horn sounded to end the second and third rounds.

The letter of appeal filed by Holm’s attorneys argues that because de Randamie wasn’t warned after she threw late punches after round two, that she did it again after round three, after which she was only given a warning. The letter asks that the commission consider point deductions for each of the second and third rounds, and render a decision, which would result in a draw or a win for Holm. The NYSAC has yet to make a decision or offer a timeline for one.

One fight earlier on the same card, Derek Brunson lost a decision to Anderson Silva, one that has been disputed by many. Brunson’s manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz, told Fox Sports on Wednesday that Brunson intends to appeal the decision. Brunson was outspoken about his disappointment in the decision, saying that the judges were in “awe” of the former longtime Middleweight Champion Silva and that they “didn’t show up and do [their] job.”

The fight was close in the significant strikes department for the second and third rounds, but Brunson had a decided striking advantage through the first round and also landed takedowns in the second and third rounds.

Appeals of judges’ or referee’s decision aren’t successful very often, but Holm and Brunson feel they have a case and will be using the process afforded to them to try and make it right.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: They both have a strong argument to have their decisions overturned, but I have a hard time seeing either appeal going through. Holm probably has the best chance of the two, though. The strikes thrown were after the horn, so if the commission feels that referee Anderson should have taken a point away after one of those rounds, they could impose that, resulting in a draw, or they could just rule a no-contest. What I feel they will say is that, as was revealed earlier this week, the horn acts as a signal to the referee to end the round and that it is at the referee’s discretion whether he or she wants to warn a fighter for an infraction and because de Randamie wasn’t warned after the first infraction after the second round, that she shouldn’t be penalized for the strikes thrown after the third round. She was warned at that point and they’ll likely point out that she didn’t do it again after the fourth or fifth rounds.

I feel that Brunson clearly earned that decision, I had it 30-27, but there’s enough subjectivity to scoring mixed martial arts under the current system that no commission is going to overrule three judges’ scorecards. Two of the rounds were close enough statistically where I can accept a 29-28 card for Silva, even though I disagree with that. I don’t expect Brunson’s appeal to get very far but it’s worth a shot and I understand his frustration.


-The Nevada Athletic Commission has stated that they are open to hosting a potential Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match in the state, eliminating one potential hurdle. “What commission wouldn’t want the two biggest fighters in the world right now to fight in their state?” NAC director Bob Bennett told the Los Angeles Times.

-The official cast for the upcoming “Redemption” season of “The Ultimate Fighter” has been released. All 14 competitors have been on the show before including former winners Joe Stevenson and Eddie “Truck” Gordon.

-Former TUF finalist Phillipe Nover has announced his retirement from MMA following his UFC 208 loss to Rick Glenn.

-Former WWE Smackdown play-by-play announcer and ESPN anchor Todd Grisham will be on play-by-play duty for this Sunday’s UFC show from Halifax.

Mark Godbeer is saying that Todd Duffee has pulled out of their scheduled UFC 209 fight.


-Jenel Lausa vs. Magomed Bibulatov for UFC 210 on April 8 from Buffalo.

-Jarjis Danho vs. Dmitry Poberezhets at UFC 211 on May 13 from Dallas.


Watch Fedor take on Andrei Arlovski ahead of Fedor’s Bellator fight with Matt Mitrione this weekend HERE.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST: Top potential fights await a returning GSP in UFC from Diaz to McGregor to Bisping to Welterweight Champ (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

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