After UFC 142 Rio, one thing became clear: the UFC, and more generally the entire sport of MMA, need instant replay.
On the 142 card, Erick Silva and Carlo Prater brawled it out in a Welterweight (170 lb) bout.
Just moments into the fight, Silva dropped Prater with a knee and finished with a flurry of punches and hammerfists on the ground. The fight was over in just :29 seconds.
To Silva and the rest of the crowd, he had just scored an incredible TKO win in his second fight with the UFC.
However, referee Mario Yamasaki overturned the decision and called it a disqualification due to Silva landing strikes to the back of Prater’s head during the onslaught that ensued after the crushing knee.
Strikes to the back of the head, as stated in the UFC rulebook, are illegal (See rule #9–provided by completemartialarts.com).
Many people have opposed this decision including UFC president Dana White, who wholeheartedly agrees with Silva’s decision to appeal the disqualification to the NSAC (Nevada Sports Athletic Commission).
According to MMAJunkie.com, UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner will be making a decision next week as to whether the disqualification is overturned or not.
Erick Silva’s manager, Wallid Ismail, told MMAJunkie.com his thoughts in regards to the matter:
“We need to [have] replays,” he said. “We have the technology. Why not use it? We hope that more states will institute instant replay to help the sport.”
If you watched the fight, it seems that Silva may have landed at least one blow to the back of the head, but the majority of the flurry he threw on the ground were good, clean strikes.
The knee itself is what dropped Prater and ultimately what put him in a state of hurt. ONE or two blows to the back of the head should not have determined the result as a DQ.
If the fight had transitioned to the ground via take-down and Silva had landed a strike or two to the back of the head, then the referee would typically warn Silva and/or deduct a point for the illegal shots, but it wouldn’t warrant an immediate disqualification.
However, in a fight like this where Prater was already down and hurt and Silva followed with probably 20-30 rapid fire strikes, it’s hard to really see how many of those strikes connected with the back of Prater’s head.
When everything is moving so fast and the ref has to make a split-second decision, they’re going to make mistakes at times. With instant replay, these mistakes could be changed.
Take the NFL for instance. How many initial decisions from referees have been overturned as a result of reviewing the play? ALOT.
I hope for the sake of fighters in the years to come that the UFC and all other promotions will implement instant replay to keep these controversial decisions from happening again.
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