Jones Files Formal Appeal Over Hamill DQ

By Brian Knapp Dec 15, 2009
A management team representing light heavyweight Jon Jones this week filed a formal appeal with the Nevada State Athletic Commission requesting that his disqualification loss to Matt Hamill at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale on Dec. 5 in Las Vegas be overturned.

Jones, who entered the bout unbeaten, was disqualified by referee Steve Mazzagatti after he struck Hamill with repeated illegal downward elbows to the face.

In the complaint, Ryan Ciotoli and Gary Marino of BombSquad Sports Management called the criteria used to determine whether or not Hamill could continue “flawed,” citing Mazzagatti’s decision to ask Hamill, a legally deaf athlete whose vision had been impaired by blood, “Are you done?” The complaint also claims that proper protocol was not followed, since none of the ringside physicians assessed Hamill’s condition prior to the stoppage.

“If the referee believed that the injury was due to a foul, Mr. Hamill should have been given the appropriate amount of time to recover,” the complaint reads. “At minimum, Mr. Hamill should have had [the] opportunity to clearly understand what was being asked of him and given the ability to respond.”

The complaint also cites a statement posted on Hamill’s Web site in which he pointed to a shoulder injury he suffered during a takedown prior to the illegal blows. “I knew it was probably over at that point,” Hamill wrote. Jones’ representatives also called into question the use of instant replay and the decision that was based upon it. Their independent review, according to the complaint, shows that the illegal blows did not cause the lacerations to Hamill’s face.

“It is clear that the elbows that were deemed illegal were in fact not the blows that caused the facial cuts,” the complaint reads. “In fact, on the tape you can clearly see that with 1:30 remaining in the first round, the bridge of Mr. Hamill’s nose was cut open and blood was starting to flow. The illegal blows however were not thrown, nor was Mr. Jones given a warning by the referee, until 1:05 minutes remaining in the first round.”

Furthermore, according to the complaint, Jones threw 27 legal blows during the 25-second interval in question, “accelerating” the facial injuries Hamill sustained. In light of the evidence as they see it, Jones’ representatives have requested the decision be changed from a loss to a win, though they would settle for a no contest, “should the commission determine that the footage is not sufficient to determine which blows in fact caused the vital injury.”
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