Peralta, Manager Believe UFC on Fox 1 Victory Should Stand

By Mike Whitman Nov 19, 2011
In the midst of an exciting and competitive featherweight contest opposite Mackens Semerzier at UFC on Fox 1, Robert Peralta engaged in a third-round firefight that resulted in a controversial knockdown of his opponent.

As each man threw leather with all his might, the two accidentally butted heads. Semerzier dropped like a rock, and Peralta swarmed. Though Semerzier gamely tried for an ankle pick, Peralta (Pictured, File Photo) overwhelmed his man with punches and finished the fight via technical knockout.

Referee John McCarthy did not spot the quick clash of heads in real time, as evidenced by his decision to allow the fight to continue unimpeded. In fact, Peralta himself was initially unaware that he had smashed skulls with his opponent, mistakenly believing a legal punch was the source of his stunned state.

“I went in and thought I got caught by a punch,” Peralta told Sherdog.com on Friday. “I tried to finish strong, because I felt it was one [round] to one [on the scorecards]. I wanted the win so bad for my girlfriend, who is expecting our daughter later this month.”

Last week, Semerzier’s management filed an appeal with the California State Athletic Commission in hopes that the result will be changed to a no-contest. Peralta and his camp, however, believe the decision should stand as-is.

Peralta’s manager, Jeff Clark, released a statement to Sherdog.com on Friday to further articulate Peralta’s side of the situation. A former fighter, Clark provided his take on the controversial ending:

“In MMA, there are many judgment calls that we trust the referees to make, many of them split-second decisions that can affect the outcome of the fight. In the case of Peralta’s fight, it was very hard to see the head butt. And for many, including ‘Big’ John, it took the replay to make things more clear.

“I feel that the reason it resulted in this outcome is that both [Peralta and Semerzier] are very tough and continued. If Mack or Peralta would have stopped the moment it happened, ‘Big’ John would have stepped in and assessed if both were able to continue, the same as an incidental eye gouge.

“At that moment in time, both [fighters] made the decision to continue, and Peralta ended up getting the best of the situation. So, as much as I respect Mack’s mental fortitude, that is also the reason that the judgment will stand. He chose to continue.

“It is warriors like him who define the sport and make it so great. With every fight, you’re always going to have one winner and one loser. In this case, he came out on the bad end of a loss.

“From my personal [perspective], I have been on the bad end of a fight stoppage and ended up with a loss. I believe that referees should always let the athletes decide their own fate. There are many years of hard work and preparation that the fighters endure. If this sport goes the way of soccer where players scream to draw fowls, then get rewarded and are running around a second later, I will take up curling as a sport.

“For this, I once again respect Mackens and his warrior’s heart but also feel he needs to take the loss as a true athlete and fighter.”

It is currently unknown when the CSAC will review Semerzier’s appeal, but the commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 13.

UFC on Fox 1 on Nov. 12 marked the promotion’s debut on network television and earned an average of 5.7 million viewers. Headlined by a heavyweight title confrontation between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, the event emanated from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Peralta’s bout was one of nine fights to stream live on Facebook and FoxSports.com prior to the main event telecast on Fox’s flagship network.

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