Nova Uniao Leader Disputes Judges’ Verdict in ACA 131 Lightweight Title Bout

By Marcelo Alonso Nov 8, 2021

Friday was definitely a very special day for Brazilian MMA. With Patricky Freire’s knockout win over Peter Queally in Ireland, local MMA fans celebrated the country’s fifth championship victory in a span of nine days.

But there could have been one more reason to celebrate. A few hours before Freire’s victory, Nova Uniao fighter Hacran Dias squared off against Russian champion Abdulaziz Abulvakhabov for the Absolute Championship Akhmat belt. The fight was contested over five rounds in Moscow, the homeland of the champion, and the action didn’t disappoint those in attendance. However, the final verdict was a disappointment to Nova Uniao leader Andre Pederneiras, as Dias lost a split decision at ACA 131.

“As we expected it was a war, with every round being competititve from the first to the last second, but it was pretty clear that Hacran won four rounds — at worst three. When the fight finished, I had no doubt my fighter won,” Pederneiras said. “It was clear even to Abdulaziz, who was really upset. But unfortunately two of the three judges didn’t see it that way.

“I have nothing bad to say about ACA, they treated us so well over here and I truly believe it was not a question of bad intentions. But it´s pretty clear their judging is not updated according to the rest of the world’s standards,” he continued. “I’ve traveled 202 times to take my athletes all over the world. In any event, the referee deducts a point from fighters who hold the fence. In the second round, Abdulaziz grabbed the fence while Hacran was taking him down and that made it possible for him to fall on top. The referee stopped the fight and continued it standing up without taking any points. What that means is my fighter ended up being punished.”

Pederneiras believes that common mistakes like that in Russian events may prevent other top fighters from the USA, Europe and Brazil from traveling to the country to fight in local events.

“It´s natural that the champion has an advantage in a draw, but what is not reasonable is a fighter wins four rounds and loses the fight because he’s fighting the champion … Everybody knows most of my fighters comes from slums. Guys like Hacran dedicate every second of their life to improving and becoming a champion to give a better life to their family,” Pederneiras said.

“They know that losing and winning is part of the sport, especially when you fight the best in the biggest MMA events in the world like the UFC and ACA. But what makes them really upset is not being able to buy a house or give a better life to their son due to a judge’s mistake. That kind of situation is not reasonable.”

According to Pederneiras, the owner of the promotion promised an immediate rematch right after the event.

“Rarely have I been treated so well at an MMA event.The owner of the event recognized what happened and promised Hacran and Abdulaziz will have an immediate rematch. Actually, he liked what we did with LFA ,and we are negotiating to take ACA to Brazil, too.”

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