Although Mustafa Al-Turk was getting dominated in his UFC 99 bout against Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, it wasn’t until Cro Cop perfectly executed a Greco-Roman thumb-to-the-eye that allowed him to finish off the English heavyweight. The eye poke may have been accidental, but Al-Turk and his camp are looking to appeal the loss.
“We are going to appeal that. We don’t think it’s right that it should be a TKO,” Al-Turk’s manager Ken Pavia stated after the loss. “The referee should have caught onto the eye poke. Look at ‘Henderson vs. Franklin’ at UFC 93 in Dublin. Franklin got a timeout when he got eye-poked.”
As Cro Cop continued to pick Al-Turk apart with his mitts, it was obvious that the fatal blow which caused Al-Turk to hunch over was the eye-poke. Cro Cop immediately pounced on the blinded Englishman before he was finally pulled off of him with 3:06 to go in the first round.
As reported yesterday, Marc Ratner, UFC vice president of regulatory affairs, told MMAWeekly.com that although their intentions are in the right place, an appeal would not be possible.
“It’s very simple,” Ratner told the website. “By the unified rules … first of all, the referee didn’t see the foul. What you’re asking is can we go to instant replay. You’re saying now that the fight’s over, can you take a look at it? If the referee had seen the finger and stopped the fight immediately, he could have given a stop for five minutes to recover, and then if (al-Turk) couldn’t have gone on, it would have been a no-contest.”
Fortunately for Al-Turk, the UFC has offered him another fight. Paul Ivens, Al Turk’s instructor, confirmed the news to MMAjunkie.com.
“The UFC has said Mostapha will get another fight.” Ivens stated. “It’s kind of one of those things that was confirmed, but we knew would probably happen beforehand as well, going into the fight on short notice and things like that. It’s a tough fight the UFC gave us. Both of the fights have been tough so far.
“To be honest, what I will say is that I’m not a fan of that referee in question at all,” Ivens continued. “I think he’s made a lot of questionable calls – twice now against real high-profile fights for our fighters.
Once again, the referee in question is Dan Miragliotta. Yes, the same Dan Miragliotta that prematurely stopped the Brandon Vera/Fabricio Werdum fight at UFC 85, as well as missing Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson apparently tapping out while in James Thompson’s guillotine choke at EliteXC: Primetime.
Unfortunately for Pavia, he has been down this road before with another one of his clients. Anthony Johnson was accidentally poked in the eye by Kevin Burns in the final round of their battle at UFC Fight Night 14. Despite the fact that Johnson was dominating Burns for the majority of that fight, the appeal was all for not.
Steve Mazzagatti reffed that tussle, however didn’t see the infraction and ruled the fight a TKO after Burns pounced on the fallen Johnson.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission rejected Pavia’s appeal that time due to “lack of remedy.”
Props to Pavia for having his fighters’ backs. However, the MMA super agent is well aware going in that this will be another losing battle.