Evangelista-Aina Changed to No Decision

By Greg Savage Aug 24, 2009
LOS ANGELES -- After much deliberation, the California State Athletic Commission removed the only loss from Billy Evangelista’s record Monday and replaced it with a no decision during an appeals hearing.

Evangelista’s bout with Mike Aina at Strikeforce Challengers Series 1 on May 15 in Fresno, Calif., ended with a controversial knee that video replays showed struck Aina in the shoulder, not the head as originally determined by referee Herb Dean.

“I’m glad the loss is taken off the record. I just think I fought a great fight and everybody else saw that I was winning the bout,” Evangelista told Sherdog.com following the CSAC’s ruling.

The commission did not have the opportunity to view the fight’s conclusion on video and were forced to rely upon testimony from Dean, Evangelista and CSAC Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas, who was overseeing the event for the state.

Dean testified that his original decision that that blow was an illegal strike to a grounded fighter was inaccurate. However, Dean came to the conclusion that he was mistaken after viewing slow-motion replay in the production truck with Douglas after the decision had been made to award Aina the victory by disqualification.

“The video showed it was a fair blow,” said Dean.

Douglas seconded Dean’s comments and assured the commission the photo evidence presented to them was indeed accurate.

Evangelista read a statement to the commission asking for the decision to be changed to a victory by technical knockout or a no contest at the very least.

Acting Executive Director David Thornton recommended the commission substitute a no decision for the disqualification handed down in the cage.

The commission openly deliberated as to what they could or couldn’t do according to California law. Commissioner Mario Rodriguez offered a pair of motions that could not find a second -- one to change the decision to a technical knockout and another to change it to a technical draw.

Commissioner Dr. Christopher Giza raised a concern after both motions failed that the regulatory body was in danger of setting a precedent in regards to using instant replay, a matter that was also on Monday’s meeting docket.

After clarification was made as to the number of rounds in the contest, Rodriguez then offered a third motion to change the outcome to a no decision. It was immediately seconded and unanimously passed.

Evangelista’s amended record now stands at 9-0 with one no decision while Aina’s now tallies at 11-6-1 with one no decision.
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