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Anthony Johnson loses appeal

UFC welterweight fighter Anthony Johnson lost his appeal to the Nevada State Athletic Commission of his controversial TKO loss to Kevin Burns during UFC Fight Night 14 on July 19. was the first to confirm the news via e-mail with NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer.

“Based on advice from the Nevada Attorney General’s office, the appeal was rejected due to lack of remedy,” Kizer is quoted as telling MMA Frenzy.

Johnson was declared a loser to Burns via TKO at 3:35 of round 3. He had absorbed several pokes to the eye during the fight and received a stern poke during an ill-fated jab attempt in the fight’s final round. After receiving the final poke, Johnson turned his back and collapsed towards the back of the cage while screaming in obvious pain. The fight was stopped and Burns was ruled the winner in spite of the illegal eye poke.

Burns stated after the fight was accidental and apologized for the pokes, which he attributed to inability to close his left hand as a result of multiple fractures. As a result of the illegal blow, Johnson had to undergo surgery that has sidelined him for the past several months.

Referee Steve Mazzagatti reportedly apologized to Johnson during EliteXC and CBS’ “Saturday Night Fights” on July 26, indicating that he did not have the proper angle to rule on the eye poke.

  • Russ says:

    That ruling was bull. Kevin Burns should have been DQ’d. Burns won the first two rounds, but johnson was winning the third fairly decisively. such crap.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    what the fuck is a lack of remedy
    bollocks, ufc need to set up a rematch

  • GassedOut says:

    UFC? I think you mena EliteXC…

  • GassedOut says:

    Whoops….smoking the drapes again…delete last comment…:)

  • Jim says:

    I don’t understand how there’s a lack of remedy. And, if there is — if money or something else I don’t know about plays a part in this and makes it irreconcilable — then they need to start looking at this and put some protocol in place to handle situations like this. Because there’s definitely going to be another one that comes up again in the future, some time. Referees are going to miss things and/or make mistakes. They can call it the Anthony Johnson’s Poor Abused Eyeball Rule, or just the Anthony Johnson Rule for short. But if there truly is no remedy in place, they need to make one before this happens again.

  • I could believe that they didn’t rule differently on this! I understand that sometimes in the speed of the action u may miss somethings but that is what appeals are there for. I feel the correct decision here would be a NC! Set up the rematch ASAP, does anyone know how Johnsons recovery from surgery has gone? I was dissappointed in his performance in that fight as well! He looked so good against Tommy Spears and he looked very very tentative in the 1st two plus rnds of this fight

  • CW says:

    Wow. How pathetic. If they don’t have a “remedy” to deal with a call this obviously erroneous, what remedies do they have?

  • matt says:

    From my understanding “Lack of Remedy” basically means that sports books already paid out on the burns win. If they change the ruling, they now need to pay out the Johnson win and that opens them up for suit. And this is based off the advice of the attorney general.

  • warcry says:

    Just a crying shame. This has a boxing stench all over it. I guess appeals are totally worthless. At least we know that going forward.

  • BG says:

    @ Jim,

    I agree this needs to be address…but I’d rather it be called the Rumble Rule.

  • Neil says:

    Amazing… at best, I’d call this a no contest, but it really should have been Burns being DQ’d. I can understand why Mazagatti may not have seen it the first time around, but it seems to me that this could be easily remedied. To hell with the bookers, Johnson’s early enough in his career that this matters!

  • drightler says:

    NAC 467.770 Change of decision after contest or exhibition; factors considered by Commission. (NRS 467.030) The Commission will not change a decision rendered at the end of any contest or exhibition unless:

    1. The Commission determines that there was collusion affecting the result of the contest or exhibition;

    2. The compilation of the scorecards of the judges discloses an error which shows that the decision was given to the wrong unarmed combatant; or

    3. As the result of an error in interpreting a provision of this chapter, the referee has rendered an incorrect decision.

    Lack of remedy means the rules don’t allow the decision to be overturned under the circumstances. None of the above apply to AJ’s match…

    1) Prove that Mazzagatti was paid off.
    2) It didn’t go to the score cards
    3) Prove that Mazzagatti saw the last eye poke and that he was unaware that eye pokes were illegal.

  • jj says:

    what a joke.

    hopefully this means we’ll get to see people win fights by all kinds of illegal moves now.

    knees to the head, soccer kicks, steel pipe to the back of the head ko’s, death by tiger.

    how the fucking fuck, do you win with an illegal move?!!?!?

    a sad day for mma, its not like there was no replay unavailble. they overturn decisions when people cheat with steroids, whats the difference here?

    and i hope to christ that kevin burns is banned until he gets his fuckin hand fixed. instead of kevin fixing his hand, AJ has to have eye surgery.


  • ocd says:

    Burns should have never been allowed to fight with his hand the way it is. More so, he should have NEVER tried to fight given the potential for injury. In short, this fight should have never happened.

  • Jay K. says:

    I agree with OCD and others regarding Burns’ hand and the decision to retitle the fight as a no contest. What exactly is the “Lack of Remedy” here? Burns committed an illegal eye poke and should’ve been disqualified initially. Something should be done regardless to properly absolve Mazzagatti and the NSAC of this poor judgement.

  • Rich S. says:

    Russ, did you see the same fight i saw?

    Johnson was dominating the ENTIRE fight..
    that’s why this sucks so bad..
    because Anthony was like, 2 min. away from winning the fight via Decision..
    he rocked burns time after time, just couldn’t finish him [and i commend burns on his amazing chin] and if i remember correctly, he even got some takedowns..

    i know all’s fair in war, but this sucks severely.. i mean, if AJ was winning the entire fight and got knocked cold, or submitted late in the 3rd.. it’d be fine.. but the fact the he was minutes from victory, and got put down/INJURED by an illegal move REALLY BLOWS..

    even if it WASN’T RULED A DQ, it should AT LEAST be ruled a NO CONTEST..

    this has got to be the worst case of BS i’ve seen in years..

  • matt says:

    What angered me is this…burns admits he throws his jab as a palm strike. palm strikes are illegal. thus right after that interview, the NSAC should have made it a NC or DQ win.

  • Voridor says:

    With all the terrible judges(Cecil) and horseshit opinions(Sam C), this could be the beginning of a bad time in MMA. I’m going to refer to the Matt Brown decision and Sam C saying he was “robbed”. Comments and decisions like these should be hammered by fans all around the world. We will not let Cecil Peoples and other forms of madness “judge” our beloved sport. Steve M is the latest example of a downfall to our sport. First the Lesnar point deduction, now a man gets brutalized a few times and robbed out of a paycheck. Pat yourself on the back with a pickaxe bud, and why don’t you say “hi” for me to Cecil in wonderland.
    1)Matt Brown was not robbed. Your wrong Sam. 5-10% of idiots agree with your analysis on Brown.
    2)Steve M should be fined and warned of possible firing.
    3)Cecil Peoples should be fired ASAP. There is no way in hell the Bisbing won against Hamill, Matt Hughes didn’t win round 1 against BJ Penn (Prison strong)
    If anyone agrees with Cecil on the Penn/Hughes fight…may god have mercy on your soul.

  • CW says:

    ^^ Random ranting is random.

  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    “palm strikes are illegal.”

    No, they are not.

  • Jackyl says:

    That is pretty bad. I understand the rules for overturning but there was a blatant and repeated rules violation. The Mazz even warned Burns during the break in between rounds. All of a sudden he is out of position to make the call? When all of us and everyone in the arena saw Burns’ finger disappear to his first knuckle into Johnson’s eye. It sure wasn’t a TKO. So the moral of the story is if you are losing a fight you go for an illegal blow and hope the ref rules a TKO in your favor because you won’t have to answer for it once the fight is over.

  • Rich S. says:

    ok, to all these people that continue to mention palm strikes being illegal? does that include palm strikes on the ground? if so, they’re TOTALLY LEGAL..

    i don’t know the ruling on a standing palm strike, but palm strikes from the guard are VERY common..

  • matt says:

    Under UFC rules, Open Palm Strikes are illegal.

  • Grappo says:

    I agree that Burns shouldn’t have been allowed to fight if he can’t close his hand, and every jab is a potential eye poke. Sucks for Johnson.

  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    “Under UFC rules, Open Palm Strikes are illegal.”

    Nowhere in the UFC rules does it state that.


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