Cole Miller believes the judges made a mistake when they awarded Manny Gamburyan a unanimous decision over him at UFC Fight Night 26, but that’s not what he’s really upset about.
He’s upset over the chaos that ensued after he elbowed his opponent just before the close of the first round.
Gamburyan indicated the elbow landed to the back of his head and was therefore illegal, but referee Yves Lavigne disagreed. Meanwhile Gamburyan stayed on the mat between rounds, and his corner and cut man entered the Octagon to tend to him. By the time a doctor gave the OK for Gamburyan to continue, Miller feels the fight should have already been over.
“At the moment, I didn’t really know what was going on, which was why I wasn’t trying to complain and raise a big fuss about it,” Miller told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “After I heard the uproar from everybody else and then I went back and watched the fight, I was like, ‘Oh man.’ Not only do I feel I was wronged by the judges, I was really wronged [by] what happened [between] the first and the second round. You can’t get a two-minute recovery from a legal blow. You get one minute, period, and that’s it. If you don’t answer the bell, the fight’s over. You don’t get two minutes and seven seconds.”
Miller also pointed to section 14.09.03 of the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission’s regulations for MMA, which states that if a fighter appears injured during a bout, the fighter’s manager or second shall not attempt to render aid before the ringside physician has examined the fighter.
Not only did that happen, Miller argues Gamburyan’s corner and second rendered aid while in Miller’s corner.
“I saw an interview where Dana [White] said I should have thrown my hands up and walked away to my corner, and that was the problem, was that we were in my corner,” Miller said. “His corner is in my corner while I’m getting instructions from my corner for my minute. So he gets my minute in my corner and then he gets another minute.”
Eventually Gamburyan recovered and went on to win the fight via a debatable unanimous decision. Miller believes the bout never should have ended up in the judges’ hands.
“To be honest with you, I don’t care about the decision,” Miller said. “If I don’t finish the guy, then I don’t even want the win. You can keep it for all I care, but in this case, yeah, I do think it was a B.S. decision, but they robbed me of my finality with a finish, with a first-round finish over a top guy like Manny Gamburyan.”
At this point, Miller has decided to pursue what is likely his only possible recourse: to file an appeal with the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission. Specifically, he doesn’t plan on appealing the decision but rather what happened after the first round.
“This has way more effects than me not getting my win bonus,” Miller said. “I just beat the toughest guy I ever fought and now I’m not going to be able to move up the ranks. I’m not going to be able to get the hell off [the Facebook prelims]. I can’t get more money from sponsors, and now I’m one fight closer to getting cut. I’m mad. I’ve got to push this because if I don’t do it, who else is going to do it?”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 2:42:57).