Matt Mitrione is appealing his loss to Travis Browne at UFC Fight Night “Dillashaw vs. Cruz.”
Mitrione, who suffered a third-round technical knockout loss to Browne after multiple eye pokes, is seeking to have the decision overturned on the grounds that referee Gary Forman failed to officiate the bout properly and also had a conflict of interest as a former promoter in Massachusetts.
MMA journalist Duane Finley reported Mitrione’s decision to file an appeal, which can be viewed in full here.
According to the complaint, Forman’s first mistake occurs at the 4:49 mark of round one, when he called timeout for an eye poke but failed to send Browne to a neutral corner during the break.
Then, Forman failed to notify the commission of the foul, and whether or not the infraction was intentional, according to the complaint.
“Mitrione was about to strike Browne with an undefended right hook to the head following a straight left lead,” it read. “As a result of Browne’s position in reaction to Mitrione’s fair combinations of strikes, Browne was able to defend being struck by Mitrione’s legal attack only by employing the illegal blow.
“Accordingly, the foul should have been judged intentional and Browne should have been disqualified.”
The complaint then claims that Browne again should have been disqualified in the second round following another poke to the right eye, a foul which once again helped to successfully stifle an attack from Mitrione.
“The referee committed an inexplicable error by failing to call time out, by failing to assess the foul from the second illegal blow at the earliest opportunity and by failing to disqualify Browne,” the complaint read. “Browne then sought to exploit his illegal blow (and the referee’s compounding errors) by pressing the fight harder and by attempting to finish the fight while Mitrione was injured from the foul and attempting to recover.”
Mitrione later affirms in the document that Forman acknowledged the second foul by warning Browne but failed to call time out when the foul occurred.
At that point, “referee Forman knowingly endangered Mitrione... by improperly forcing him to fight for an additional 33 seconds while obviously injured and compromised.”
The complaint goes on to state that Forman should have stopped the fight when he called timeout at the 3:55 mark of round two and that the third round was not a legal round and should be removed from the record entirely.
Finally, the complaint points out that Forman should not have received a license from the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission as a referee due to his history as a promoter in the state as well as his lack of experience officiating high-level fights.
“Accordingly, in light of multiple errors committed by the referee and other licensees and officials, it is impossible to conclude that the MMA contest between Mitrione and Browne at UFN 81 was conducted fairly,” the complaint stated. “We hereby appeal the decision of this contest and request that the commission overturn the decision and declare Mitrione the winner by disqualifying Browne. Alternatively, the bout must be declared a no contest.”
The complaint also urges the commission to “protect the integrity of future events and use its best efforts to ensure fighter safety” by disciplining Forman.
Mitrione’s complaint will be reviewed by the commission or its designee. If it is determined to be necessary, a hearing will take place to decide whether a violation took place. The commission will enter a written decision at the conclusion of the hearing. While nothing is mentioned regarding the protocol for overturning results, the commission “may suspend a license for a fixed period of time, revoke a license permanently, or issue a reprimand to the licensee.”