Bo Nickal’s promotional debut Saturday at UFC 285 was swift, but his victory will be formally appealed by opponent Jamie Pickett’s team.
Saturday, shortly after his fighter was submitted by Nickal in the first round at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, MMA manager LaMont Chappell, of LCA Sports Management, informed MMA Junkie of a plan to file an appeal with the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) to overturn the result to a no contest.
The basis of the appeal revolves around a knee to the midsection by Nickal against the fence that occurred moments before a takedown that led to the finish. Pickett and his team think the shot was to the groin, and illegal.
“It’s very important that like all other major sports (including collegiate sports) replays are necessary to manage fair play,” Chappell said in a written statement. “It seems these types of issues from judges and officials are becoming more and more common in MMA. At the end of the day they (officials) are human; however a fighter who trains his ass off should not be penalized for mistakes by individuals who are paid to make the best judgments for the integrity of the sport.”
MMA Junkie asked Nickal for his reaction at a UFC 285 post-fight news conference, to which the former Penn State University wrestling standout denied the strike was a foul and was puzzled by Pickett’s team’s appeal proclamation.
“I hit him in the leg, in the thigh,” Nickal said. “I had him in a bad position along the wall. He wanted to get off the wall and he wanted the ref to stop it. If I were to have actually hit him low, I would feel bad because I don’t want to win that way. I’m not a cheater. I’m not somebody who tries to take short cuts. If I did hit him low, I would’ve just relaxed probably or let the ref stop it. But I didn’t hit him low at all, so it’s a weird move, bro.”
While MMA result appeals are accepted by many regulatory bodies, overturns seldom occur. Often times, review processes and rulings for missed fouls are done behind closed doors.
NAC 467.770 states that a result can be overturned following a decision for one of three reasons, with only one relevant to the challenge at hand.
The Commission determines that there was collusion affecting the result of the contest or exhibition
The compilation of the scorecards of the judges discloses an error which shows that the decision was given to the wrong unarmed combatant; or
As the result of an error in interpreting a provision of this chapter, the referee has rendered an incorrect decision.
Video replay is available in Nevada and could’ve been used by referee Keith Peterson. However, it was not utilized during or immediately after Saturday’s bout.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 285.
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie