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31st Dec 2016

Huge controversy at UFC 207 as fight ends in No Contest despite illegal knockout


Ben Kiely

Although it was marked down as a No Contest, we fully expect this decision to be overturned to a disqualification.

It looked like we were onto a winner with the opening fight of the highly-anticipated UFC 207 card.

Welterweights Tim Means and Alex Oliveira came out swinging in the sole bout on the early prelims and there were fireworks from the get-go. “The Dirty Bird” showed impressive wrestling skills in the early exchanges as he reversed a takedown attempt and looked to take control with his grappling. However, Oliveira wasn’t ready to give up yet as he got right back into the contest with a ferocious spinning back kick to the body.

Then came the talking point of the fight, which was unfortunately the controversy.

The action was stopped at the 3:33 mark of the opening stanza when Oliveira was unable to continue after he was hit with the pair of knees to the head while he had his own knee on the ground.

The fight was stopped for several minutes while the referee exited the Octagon to confer with officials cageside to make a ruling. In the end, it was deemed to be an “accidental” illegal blow to a grounded opponent and the fight was marked down as a No Contest.

Both Means and UFC Vice president of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner believed the finishing shots were legal, but that wasn’t the case. The Unified Rules of MMA describes a ‘downed’ fighter as a fighter who has more than just the soles of their feet on the ground.

Since Oliveira had his knee on the ground, he was a ‘grounded’  opponent, meaning any knees to the head at that point were illegal.In this instant, the fight should go down as a disqualification for Means as Oliveira was unable to continue due to his illegal blows.

The Brazilian’s manager has already said he will appeal the decision in the hope of getting a rematch with Means.