Josh Emmett is planning to appeal his controversial loss to Jeremy Stephens at UFC on Fox 28.
Emmett’s team confirmed the decision to MMAFighting.com. UFC on Fox 28 took place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday night, so the appeal process will go through the Florida State Boxing Commission.
Stephens initially floored his opponent with a counter left hook in the second round, and he followed Emmett to the ground, where he unloaded a series of elbows. When the Team Alpha Male product attempted to rise, Stephens appeared to land a glancing knee to his head. Referee Dan Miragliotta allowed the action to continue, and “Lil Heathen” shoved Emmett to his back and finished the contest moments later.
After the bout, Stephens defended his attack, claiming that Miragliotta had informed him that his actions were within the boundaries of the new unified rules of MMA, which have been adopted in Florida.
There is also the question as to whether some of the elbows Stephens landed on the ground were illegal, as a couple appear to land to the back of Emmett’s head. However, the Team Alpha Male product was also moving at the time Stephens landed the blows. The knee, meanwhile, appeared to be a glancing blow. Since Florida doesn’t utilize instant replay, Miragliotta didn’t have a chance to review the call.
There was plenty of debate elsewhere, including the Fox Sports 1 desk, where both Dominick Cruz – Stephens’ teammate at Alliance MMA – and Michael Bisping seemed to side with “Lil Heathen.”
Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber blasted Cruz and Bisping in an Instagram video.
“Dominick Cruz and Michael Bisping are f---ing blind. That was a knee to the back of the head,” he said. “An illegal knee to the illegal back of the head. Give me a freaking break. Congratulations to Stephens, he fought a good one.”
Meanwhile, Emmett, who dropped Stephens in the opening stanza but couldn’t get the finish, congratulated his opponent in his own social media post.
“Hats off to [Stephens],” you know we will be running that back sometime in the future,” Emmett wrote.
Should Emmett win his appeal, the result of the bout would likely be changed to a no contest.