As first reported by ESPN Magazine, middleweight fighter Benji Radach will appeal his KO loss to Scott Smith at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz on April 11th. Radach had this to say about his reasoning for the appeal:
“I was not out . . . I’m not a sore loser, and I think Scott Smith is a great guy. I wish it didn’t come to this. But I’m just doing what I think is right. If Scott hadn’t gotten a hold of the cage – which is blatantly against the rules – I think I would have finished him [in the second round].”
Radach also plans to cite several mistakes made by referee Herb Dean during the fight in his appeal to the athletic commission. Benji claims that had Dean not allowed Smith to grab the cage during a guillotine attempt he made in the second round, Smith would have been forced to tap. Radach also claims that Smith landed an illegal punch to the back of the head, that went unnoticed by Dean, after Smith dropped him in the third round. Another reason for his appeal that will most likely not be cited in the official documents submitted to the athletic commission has to be Radach’s absolute frustration over the outcome of the fight. Radach was dominating the fight in every way, until Smith landed a right hand, followed by an arguably illegal blow to the back of the head, that put a stop to the fight and gave Scott Smith a truly stunning come-from-behind victory. The appeals process is sure to take a while, so we’ll have plenty of time to debate the validity of Radach’s appeal.