Tiago Okamura, the representative of the Light Heavyweight fighter, is waiting to be licensed as a manager with Virginia's Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) which supervises the state's athletic commission. Once the formalities are done, he is looking forward to file an appeal with the commission against the TKO call made by referee Kevin MacDonald, he told MMA Fighting.
DPOR: Overturning of a decision is a rare case scenario
The dispute is based on MacDonald's intervention and subsequent stoppage in the Cutelaba vs. Ankalaev bout at UFC Fight Night 169 on Saturday night. The referee stepped in 38 seconds into the fight after Cutelaba was seen struggling after a series of punches, which he claims was a show on his part to throw off his opponent.
But MacDonald's interference put an abrupt end to his efforts at the gameplan. The Chartway Arena crowd was not very happy with the decision either. Soon after the event was over, Cutelaba expressed his intentions to contest the fight result.
The process of reviewal was explained by DPOR spokesperson Mary Broz-Vaughan. She said that in case of a dispute, the Boxing, Martial Arts, and Professional Wrestling Advisory Board (which regulated UFC Norfolk), typically reviews the accusations raised in the form of a complaint. A preliminary finding is issued after a collective review of the footage of the event and the respective results. The finding determines whether there is enough substance to consider an overturn before the final order is given.
She also added that a decision cannot be changed by the commission "absent a compilation error on the scorecards, wrongful or illegal collusion, or some type of regulatory violation that adversely impacted the outcome."
However, in her career at DPOR spanning over two decades, Broz-Vaughan has not witnessed any fight results overturned, as there is a high bar set for such matters.
"We'll see what the allegation is, go back and look at the tape and see if there's anything that would warrant something of that magnitude. In general terms, to overturn a decision is a very high bar."
If an appellant is not satisfied with the commission's decision, they can appeal to the state court for further processing.Published 03 Mar 2020, 13:26 IST