On the surface, Jeremy Stephens scored a MASSIVELY impressive knockout over the #4 ranked Josh Emmett tonight in Orlando. Not a one-punch knockout like the haters and losers (of which there are many) told me he was capable of, but a devastating flurry of strikes ending in an H-Bomb like elbow that earned my respect nonetheless. Upon review, however, it looks like this knockout may be protested due to some potentially illegal action involved in the finish.
The instant objection from most everyone was over the knee thrown by Stephens in the final sequence. It was clearly illegal, whether it connected or not, we’re not completely sure of, as some angles appear that is does, and some don’t. It’s mixed martial arts’ version of the stupid “What is a catch?” rule as some people on Twitter pointed out. As more and more replays were shown, Daniel Cormier suggested that the elbows from Stephens were ALSO illegal, as they were clearly connecting with the back of Emmett’s head. Now, did any of this truly make a difference in the outcome of the fight? I personally don’t think so. I think Emmett was DEFINITELY done for as soon as he got dropped. Is there enough evidence of non-legal activity for him to appeal this loss with the Florida State Athletic Commission and get the fight overturned to a no contest though? I don’t know. Florida has adopted the new unified rules of mixed martial arts but has no replay, so the answer to that question is going to take more time than any of us would like to find out. If you put a gun to my head and asked what I thought would happen, I would probably say that Stephens’ win will remain in the record books. You really never know with these commissions on the other hand. Here’s the debate among some pros who know much more than I.
Really great fight card overall, despite the main event controversy. Underdogs were dominating left and right, my picks are horrendous at 3-5 (although Dominick Cruz going 1-4 made me feel alright about that), and no fight on the main card disappointed. We began with Max Griffin, the biggest dog of the night, dismantling Mike Perry in a three round decision. It was a fun fight where Perry’s gameplan seemed to fail him, and Griffin’s seemed to be executed perfectly. I hope Perry takes some time off now and regroups/rehabs a bit. Homeboy fights so frequently, it just can’t be healthy.
Ilir Latifi then MURDERED Ovince Saint Preux with one of the scariest finishes since Jon Jones choked out Lyoto Machida…
Finally, in the co-main event, Tecia Torres proved that she belonged in that octagon with Jessica Andrade. That may sound a little weird, especially because she was on the losing end of a fairly lopsided decision, but I thought this was going to be a mauling of epic proportions, and for a while, this fight was really close. Torres landed some great shots and displayed the heart of a warrior, while Andrade landed an Attitude Adjustment…
Next week we’ve got UFC 222, main evented by Cyborg vs…uhhhh, well, main evented by Cyborg, and a Featherweight Title eliminator between Frankie Edgar and Brian Ortega, so make sure you’re keeping an eye out for all of the fight week buzz over the next seven days. Should be fun.