Chris Camozzi (right) now has a win over Joey Villasenor. | Photo: Daniel Archuleta/Sherdog.com
It took nearly a month and a half, but a final ruling has been made regarding the Chris Camozzi-Joey Villasenor main event from Shark Fights 15.
Held on May 27 at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, N.M., the middleweight contest was originally announced to be a split draw after three rounds. Judge Robert Romero scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Camozzi, while Jenna Vasquez had it 29-28 in favor of Villasenor. Mark Sanchez’s scorecard read 29-29.
It was Sanchez’s scorecard which would later come into question, and on Tuesday Sherdog.com learned that the New Mexico Athletic Commission voted unanimously to overturn the original ruling and award Camozzi a split-decision victory.
The news came as a disappointment to Villasenor.
“I think [the commission] made an error, I think they [needed] to confirm that it was an error, and I think that it needs to be decided to be a no-contest or stand where it is,” said the Jackson’s MMA product. “I don’t think there should be a winner or loser in this event, even though I do feel like I won the fight.”
While Sanchez’s card should have been announced as 29-28 in favor of Camozzi, an error made by the person running the scoring table at the event led to the incorrect decision. That person at the table made an addition error when tabulating Sanchez’s scorecard, which led to the 29-29 score.
The mistake was not discovered until after the fight card’s conclusion. The Jackson’s MMA camp originally requested that the scorecards be reviewed, and the process isn’t entirely finished.
“We did make a verbal request at the meeting [Tuesday] to have our attorney review the integrity of the scorecards,” Jackson’s MMA general manager Ricky Kottenstette told Sherdog.com Tuesday evening. “We were granted permission and will be submitting requests tomorrow morning through our firm.”
Camozzi’s camp wasn’t present at Tuesday's meeting, but did send a statement to the commission. The “Ultimate Fighter 11” alum was vocal on his blog shortly after the decision came into question, devoting an entire post to the subject.
“When I took this fight on short notice I knew I was going to fight a New Mexico fighter in New Mexico,” Camozzi wrote on June 9. “My trainers and managers all impressed upon me that this is not a fight that we want to let go to the judges. Even during the fight I was being told by my corner that I needed to finish.”
It doesn’t appear that a rematch between the two is imminent, as Villasenor will drop to welterweight and face Che Mills at a British Association of Mixed Martial Arts event on Sept. 10 in Birmingham, England. Villasenor said that Camozzi was his original opponent on the BAMMA 7 card.
“We were scheduled to fight in England. As of a week ago, he pulled out of that fight. Shark Fights didn’t let him compete, but he accepted the fight,” said the Strikeforce veteran. “It’s unfortunate that we never got to mix it up again. Who knows, maybe he drops down sometime or maybe I take a fight at  to settle the score.”