June 28th, 2014
This is Cole Miller. I recently filed an appeal with the state of Massachusetts Athletic Commission for what I feel is an obvious violation of the rules as stated in Massachusetts handbook for Mixed Martial Arts and Unarmed Combat. This violation… also obviously… changed the outcome of my fight against Manny Gamburyan.
My appeal was denied due to, “inconclusive evidence.” The only way to come to this decision would be to completely ignore the crystal clear VIDEO EVIDENCE.
It is my opinion that if the same athletic commission were trying to find a fighter guilty of a rule infraction – the exact same level of evidence would have been deemed OVERWHELMING.
For that reason, I would like to give the details of my appeal.
Here is the breakdown of what happened in between the first and second round of my bout with Manny Gamburyan this past August in Boston.
The appeal was to the decision to let the fight continue after more than 2 minutes had gone by when a fighter is to receive 1 minute. If the fighter can not continue after one minute the fight must be stopped.
You can see all the rules for which I am citing at the bottom.
The TS and the lengthy numbers are referring to Timestamps which references video provided by the UFC of the bout.
Also, I wasn’t allowed to argue this, but the judges gave Manny Gamburyan the decision, one giving him the nod for every single round. I was told by Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta I had won the fight. All major MMA websites scored the play by play for me 30-27 winning every round.
Note that below I list 8 rules that were broken in the Massachusetts handbook for Mixed Martial Arts and Unarmed Combat. However Massachusetts has decided that my appeal is Denied based on “INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE.”
Also Massachusetts is looking into addressing several of the points I brought up in my appeal to change in their rules and regulations.
As stated above, my main argument is that the fight should have been stopped between the first and second rounds by the referee, and I should have been declared winner by technical knockout(14.15)(Timestamp of first round end: 17.39.03.06).
This is because my opponent was in no condition to continue and was unable to compete following a one minute rest(14.18).
He was also given an extended period of rest which lasted 2 minutes and three seconds roughly from the time the first round ended and the second round began.(16.03(3))(TS:17.41.06.00).
Now as I stated before I do not fault referee Yves Lavigne as he had so much “traffic” to clear up is how I word it.
Following the legal blow as indicated from Yves Lavigne to me, and from the video provided, I behaved in a method of what many were saying as “too nice.”
After dropping my opponent I was gently supporting him by the armpit as he lay at my feet. This is for several reasons.
I label myself as a Martial Artist first, and a Fighter second. Mr. Gamburyan is a Judo black belt, one of the few men still fighting since the 90’s, he fought for the world title, and was also my roommate on the Ultimate Fighter Season 5 for two months. Although we may not be close friends I have much respect for him. Also I have done this long enough to know that what a fighter sees under heightened senses may not be what actually happened, so if I did hit the back of his head as his symptoms indicated, (video confirms legal blow) I wanted to come off as apologetic and let it be known I would never maliciously break the target zone of legality.
This is where we get to Yves Lavigne having to deal with the “traffic.”
Following the end of the round Jacob “Stitch” Duran (Gamburyan corner) can be seen entering my corner area(TS:220.127.116.11) rushing to his fighter’s aid(14.09(3)),(14.08(3)).
After his cornerman provides aid… two physicians can be seen helping the injured fighter and evaluating him but not consulted by the referee(TS:17.39.21.00).
Then at (TS:18.104.22.168) Rhonda Rousey (Gamburyan second) can be seen in the cage in my corner area as well rushing to the injured fighter(14.12),(14.08(3)).
I feel that if Yves was not dealing with all the violations that were being committed by the seconds (14.07), that he would’ve been able to ask the doctors right then and there if Gamburyan was able to continue following symptoms at (TS:22.214.171.124).
I think if he was able to consult the physician at that moment then they would have said Gamburyan was in no condition to fight at the one minute point.
I was going to get a Physician to write a letter describing symptoms of a blow to the side of head/temple/ear area and how it affects a fighters equilibrium and that the symptoms are consistent with his behavior (to rule out Gamburyan faking).
I however do not want to seem disrespectful to the Massachusetts physicians, I simply do not have access to them. Furthermore, Rhonda Rousey, can be seen with her back to mine in my corner while I receive instructions(TS:126.96.36.199).
Gamburyan does not even get to his feet until (TS:17.39.55.02) and is not in his corner until (TS:17.40.02.12) which is the one minute point.
Therefore for 55 seconds of my one minute break, it was spent with Gamburyan and two of his seconds in my corner, with one of them directly next to me while i received instructions.
After all of this Yves asks everyone to clear the cage, in which the doctor begins to leave as well (TS: 17.40.13.06).
Finally the Dr. is asked to evaluate the injured fighter (TS:188.8.131.52) roughly one minute and 20 seconds into the break. The doctor does a 45 second evaluation after having already evaluated the fighter previously but was not asked by the referee due to the referee controlling “traffic” due to the Seconds violating so many rules.
Also I am uncertain I just wanted to point out that I was unable to hear the audible signal from the timekeeper to the referee that the rest period was almost over but i can only hear so much going on with the audio in the video with the commotion going on(14.10).
Not trying to put blame on that individual either with so much going on I’m just indicating furthermore how difficult it is to be a referee and having to deal with so much going on at one time.
A one minute break to determine to continue or stop a contest gave the fighter well over 2 minutes and he was able to get his wits about him. I believe that he was in no position to continue the bout following the legal blow and that the doctors were in no position to give the referee their opinions because the referee was dealing with so many infractions committed by the seconds.
14.15; Determination to Stop Contest or Exhibition;Injury to Unarmed Combatant: The referee shall determine whether a contest or exhibition should be stopped because of an injury to an unarmed combatant.
14.18(portion regarding Failure to resume Competition):”… If an unarmed combatant fails or refuses to resume competing when the bell sounds signaling the commencement of the next round, the referee shall award a decision of technical knockout to their opponent as of the round which has last been finished…”
16.03(3)Duration: A period of unarmed combat in a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts must be five minutes in duration. A period of rest following a period of unarmed combat in a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts must be one minute in duration.
14.09(3)Duties of ringside Physician: If an unarmed combatant appears to have been injured during a period of unarmed combat, their manager or second shall not attempt to render aid to him before the ringside physician has had an opportunity to examine them.
14.08(3) Limitations on seconds: A second may not coach excessively from the corners during a period of unarmed combat and must remain in their assigned corner area during the period of the contest.
14.12 Persons Allowed in Ring(non quote): Only one Second is allowed in the ring between rounds.
14.07 Conduct of Chief Second and Assistant Seconds; Instructions to Unarmed Combatants by Referee:” The referee shall, before starting a contest or exhibition, ascertain from each unarmed combatant the name of their chief second, and shall hold the chief second responsible for the conduct of the assistant seconds during the progress of the contest or exhibition…”
(uncertainty)14.10 Warning before Start of a Round: Ten seconds before the beginning of each round the timekeeper shall give warning to the seconds of the unarmed combatants by blowing a whistle or by utilizing some other type of audible device by the Commission.