Alessio Sakara’s Manager Filing Appeal; Wants Rematch with Patrick Cote on Neutral Ground

November 19, 2012
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Alessio Sakara left Montreal on Saturday with a loss on his record by disqualification after he believed he had been the first fighter ever to knock out Patrick Cote.

The Italian slugger clocked Cote with a big elbow early in the first round, dropping him to the canvas where he continued to reign blows down upon him.

After a couple of shots landed to the ear, Sakara continued to throw hammer fist after hammer fist with several of them landing to the back of Cote’s head. After several shots, referee Dan Miragliotta swooped in to stop the fight but after a confusing few minutes the end result was Sakara being disqualified for illegal shots to the back of the head, and Cote being handed the victory.

Following the bout, Sakara’s manager Lex McMahon of Alchemist MMA immediately came to his client’s aid asking the commission for a ruling on why the fight was ruled a disqualification when he believes the referee ultimately didn’t do his job this time around.

“In the heat of the moment, some of those blows did land to the back of the head, they were unintentional, and at no point was Alessio provided a warning. The action should have been stopped, Alessio should have been placed off to the side, and Patrick should have been given a chance to collect himself if those were in fact illegal blows. Dan didn’t do any of that,” McMahon told MMAWeekly Radio on Sunday.

While McMahon says that Miragliotta is typically a very good referee, in this instance he made a mistake, and it cost Sakara the fight.

Now with the fight already over, McMahon will file an appeal with the Quebec Athletic Commission on Monday requesting that the result be overturned either to a win for Sakara as originally ruled or into a no-contest. At that point, he’s hopeful the UFC will rematch Cote and Sakara in early 2013 in somewhere other than Canada.

“I want it on neutral territory, it’s obvious Alessio’s not going to get a fair shake in Canada,” said McMahon. “I think a great place would be London in February. That’s neutral territory for both guys. Makes a lot of sense.”

Check out the entire interview with McMahon below where he details the night’s events and what went down after the cameras stopped rolling:

  • Mike Oxafloppin

    This McMahon guy is a freaking idiot. Alessio’s loss had nothing to do with the fight taking place in French-Canada. His loss is to do to illegal punches to the back of the head, I counted 8 legit illegal shots.

    • andyman07

      McMahon ain’t saying there weren’t any illegal shots in fact he admitted that there were some but that is not his complaint. he is complianign about the way the situation was handled. Dan stopped the fight to make it a tko win for sakara but after watching the replays and pressure from the fans he changed his mind and called it a DQ. ultimately Dan messed up cause he called the fight off then saw the replays on the big screen and changed his mind and he can’t do that. there is no replay in mma and it was obvious Dan felt pressured into changing the call. hence the confusion

      • mcmax3000

        “there is no replay in mma”

        Correction: There is no replay in the province of Quebec. Some commissions do allow replay for situations like that.

      • MuayThaiFood

        Dan didn’t stop the fight to make it a TKO win for Sakara. He stopped it because Cote couldn’t intelligently defend himself. He then ruled it a disqualification for Sakara. He clearly didn’t need the replay to see what happened as he warned Sakara at one point and the blows to the back of the head continued. If the ref determines that it was intentional then he has the power to rule it a disqualification. This appeal will go nowhere.

  • Grant

    What a load of **** this was. Cote was beaten down and the Canadian gets a pass? Are you kidding? He was already done well before a few back of the head shots. Most of them were hitting his ear anyway.

    • mcmax3000

      There were at least five, or six shots straight to the back of the head, and Cote didn’t let go of Sakara’s leg until the last couple, so no, he wasn’t “already done”.

      • andyman07

        nah he was done already no matter how hard you want to convince your self. holding on to someones leg is NOT an intelligent way to defend your self and in most cases fighters do that as a natural instinct doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. i ain’t denying there were some illegal shots but Cote was out of it already following those nasty elbows.

  • adam1848

    He is absolutely correct. That was poor refing. I’d see taking a point away and giving Cote five minutes to see if he was able to recover. If after five minutes and a Dr evaluation Cote was unable to fight, then maybe I see the disqualification being legitimate, but to stop the fight as a TKO and then reverse it because the fans are unhappy is garbage.

    • mcmax3000

      The problem with that is, under the rules, I believe the only foul that they can give five minutes for is a low blow. That’s why they don’t give five minutes after an eye poke. That rules only applies towards groin shots.

      Anything else, they have to make the determination if he can continue right away, which Cote obviously couldn’t because he went limp after the last couple of shots, since he had a hold of Sakara’s leg up until that.

      I think this was handled in the correct way.

      • Supaman

        No, he shouldn’t have been DQ’ed though b/c of the way Miragliotta was reffing it. If you look at the replay, Miragliotta was clearly watching the illegal blows and didn’t issue any warning and was waiting to call TKO stoppage. When he stepped in, he meant it as a TKO.

        Thus, if he wants to change his mind, fight should’ve been called no-contest b/c he sucks as a ref.

        • mcmax3000

          I wasn’t there, so obviously I can’t say for sure, but Miragliotta claimed to a member of the press afterwards that he warned Sakara twice about the shots.

          I didn’t hear anything on the broadcast, though before that came out, my dad, who was watching with me, said that he thought he saw Miragliotta issuing one warning on the replay.

          Either way, even if he stepped in because Cote was out (which I agree with you was the reason he stepped in), Cote went down because of an illegal shot (obviously he was rocked before hand, but it was a shot that was straight to the back of the head that finally sent him limp to the canvas), so I think a DQ was the right decision, regardless of whether, or not there was a warning issued (warning, or not, it’s still an illegal shot).

        • MuayThaiFood

          He in fact did issue at least one warning that was followed by 3 or more blows to the back of the head before he stopped the action.

          • Anthony Lopez

            The problem is he didn’t halt the action to warn, didn’t take a point away, just stopped the fight as a “DQ” (even though you can clearly see that he’s saving Cote from further punishment until he heard the boos come from the fans)

          • MuayThaiFood

            Well, the thing to remember is he was saving him from further punishment from illegal blows to the back of the head. Whether it is a legit tko or not he has to stop it when he can’t defend himself intelligently. It’s quite possible that the doctors that looked at Cote recommended that he shouldn’t continue. The doctors can have up to 5 minutes to examine him but once they have he has to be able to continue immediately if they say he’s good to go. I’d be surprised if they did and Cote didn’t look ready to fight after they were done with him to me. I wanted Sakara to get the win myself, unfortunately he just got too excited and didn’t control himself. It’s not like Cote was moving his head and the punches were landing by mistake. He was face down. Sakara should have pushed him into a better position to strike so as not to hit the back of the head.

          • Kris-tyahn

            He doesn’t need to halt the fight for illegal blows to the head. GSP fought BJ and two or three times Herb warned GSP for blows to the back of the head. They weren’t power/hard punches like Sakaras on Cote. So if the ref did warn Sakara and he continued to hit the back of the head after the verbal warning, then Sakara is liable for a DQ. This all depends on of the ref did warn Sakara, if he did, then Sakara should have been DQ’d, but if there were no warnings given to Sakara, then it should have been a NC.

      • adam1848

        You are correct that a fighter is only granted 5 minutes for a low blow, but that doesn’t change the fact that the fight should have been paused (not stopped) and Cote should have been checked to see if he could recover. Like with Mir Lesner 1…exact same thing…Lesner was about to finish Mir with hammers, ref gave a warning then paused the fight, took a point, and stood them up, and Mir was able to get the knee bar and win the fight. With Bones and Hamill, Matt couldn’t continue so it was ruled a DQ, but the ref clearly stopped the fight because of illegal blows, checked with Matt to see if he could continue, and then called the fight. Whether Cote could have continued or not is secondary to the fact that the ref didn’t even give him the opportunity before ending the fight.

        • mcmax3000

          With regards to the Hamil/Jones situation, I seem to remember the same thing happening, where when the fight was stopped, everyone believed it was being called for a TKO, and then when the broadcast came back from commercial, it was announced as a DQ.

          • adam1848

            You should watch it again.

          • mcmax3000

            You’re right, I should… Would finally give me a reason to put in that TUF 10 DVD set I’ve had for ages that I’ve never watched.

          • adam1848

            Ah, TUF 10…Remember all the hype around Kimbo before that season? I’ll admit, I gained respect for him as a person, but it really sent home the message that street fighting and MMA are two very different animals. Embarrassed to admit I’d never seen Roy Nelson fight before that season. I’d heard of him and knew he was a BJJ guy, but didn’t expect him to handle Kimbo as easily as he did. Kinda down on him as a coach right now, not impressed with how he has handled his team…but the dude can fight, no denying that.

          • mcmax3000

            Yeah, I gained respect for Kimbo in that season, not only as a person, but also for being willing to go on TUF when pretty much every other organization would’ve signed the guy for huge money at that point, and for showing something more than just standup during his fight at the finale (it wasn’t pretty, but it was obvious he had definitely been working on some stuff), but yeah, he pretty quickly proved he was not at the UFC level, and likely never would be.

            I had also never seen Roy Nelson before then, and had barely heard of him at the time. Also not a huge fan of how he’s coaching on TUF, and not generally a fan of his attitude a lot of the time, but he’s tough as hell, and puts on fun performances, win or lose.

      • Anthony Lopez

        That is incorrect. You’re allowed 5 minutes to recover for many situations, including this and eye pokes. Either way Dan stopped this fight as a TKO and changed that because of a replay and crowd hostility

        • Anthony Lopez

          Sorry, correction: it’s not 5 mins you’re allowed, but the fighter is still checked out and is determined if they are able to continue. This process never happened. The whole situation was just handled horribly

        • mcmax3000

          Not true. I don’t know if there are other situations besides a low blow (I don’t think so), but I know that for an eye poke, you’re not allowed the five minutes.

          They’re supposed to determine right away if you can continue.

          I remember hearing an interview on Mauro Ranallo’s podcast, I think with Lavigne, where they were discussing eye pokes, and the lack of time that they’re supposed to give the fighter.

          I would link it, but I don’t think the archives for that show are available anymore, because of The Score being sold up here.

      • Raymond Gonzalez

        You’re right. Cote should’ve gotten as much time as needed to recover. This being after the fight shouldve gotten stood up, of course. Those ARE the actual rules.

        • MuayThaiFood

          You should take the time to read the rules and you will find that you are incorrect. No time is given to recover from illegal blows to the head. The fighter has to continue immediately IF the doctor gives the ok to proceed. Cote was knocked out, therefore no doctor is going to give the ok to continue so it’s either a DQ or NC.

  • Anthony Lopez

    Totally agree, the situation was handled horribly. The only reason the result was what it was, is because the Canadian crowd was going nuts. This should, at the very least, be a no contest.

    • Kris-tyahn

      Had nothing to do with the crowd, the ref seen the replay and he may of talked to the side refs/judges, we don’t know what he was calling the fight for. I heard Dan did warn Sakara, if that’s the case then Sakara deserves the DQ, but if Dan didn’t give him any warnings, then it should be a NC. Though, it’s hard to believe that Dan didn’t see the strikes to the back of the head, when he was looking right at Sakara and Cotes head.

      FYI: the crowd were rightfully upset c they know their MMA rules and seen he hits to the back of the head. Just like Dana. There were 5 or 6 hits to he back of cotes head, not a couple like Sakaras manager claims and not 9 like Dana claimed.

      Though, the one thing we can all agree On Is ….. Dan did a terrible job in that fight.

  • Mark McDowall

    If this fight was anywhere but Canada it wouldn’t have ended this way. It should have been a point deduction and Cote should have been given the choice to continue or not.

    Cote was clearly in trouble and the fight was over, but the 4-5 blows to the back of the head were not what finished the fight. Thats the problem I see with all these foreign cards. You stack a card in Montreal with Canadian(sub brazillian, English or any other country the UFC visits) fighters, with canadian judges and a canadian athletic commission and home town calls are bound to happen.

  • julian moran

    It was poor referring, Miragliotta should have stopped the fight sooner.

    Nevertheless, Sakara’s manager blaming Miragliotta for not stopping the fight do to 8 illegal blows to the back of the head while at the same time excusing Sakara for the 8 blows being unintentional is stupid.

    If Miragliotta is guilty, Sakara cannot be innocent.

    Furthemore, Sakara’s manager asking the fight to be changed to a win for Sakara makes no sense, especially in the same context of blaming Miragliotta for not stopping the fight sooner.

  • Referee Dan Miragliotta could’ve halted the action,…and took a point away after his verbal warnings were unheeded, if indeed he gave any; which I didn’t hear him state anyway, nor move to stop an illegal blow(s). After the action was halted, if Patrick decided he could not continue, then it should’ve been ruled a ‘no contest’;…with an immediate rematch to follow! Patrick was well beaten before the questionable blows anyway. To see him celebrate a ‘Disqualification Victory’, punching into the camera as if he had accomplished something of his own merits was absurd!

  • John T

    You can easily tell from the replay that the last 7-8 shots to the back of the head/some to the ears were the ones that made cote go down (down as on the floor, not down as grabbing sakara’s legs).

    Also if you REALLY watched the fight, Miragliotta DID warn Sakara to watch for the back of the head. However, Sakara, being the person looking at Cote’s back of the head, still hit it 5-6 times. If the ref warns you in front of your face, and you, who is looking at the back of the head, and still hit it 5 to 6 times, I would say that is considered intentional..

    McMahon is just protecting his fighter, that;s normal..but still..cmon man.

  • Yannick Messaoud

    Sakara beat Cote, he was just stupid to throw the blows behind the head like that, he had him. If i was Cote this would be a poor and unsatifying victory for me, a win is not a win he got beat. A rematch would be good, Cote promised many times he changed and was better and all but all i see is him being the same he was expect now he jumps like a bunny. I am french Canadian by the way so this shows you that i am an MMA fan and not a nutugger defending a fellow Canadian.

  • Raymond Gonzalez

    Yeah. The fight probably should’ve gotten stood up. Sakara should’ve received a warning. If Cote couldn’t continue after 5 min, it should then have been ruled a no contest. In defense of the refs, these are seriously huge guys doing seriously huge damage. You have very little time to react, you don’t want to have an early stoppage and, sometimes, you make a mistake. That being said, it is almost always in the spirit of defending the fighters.

    -on a side note-

    We need to cut these refs some slack and start directing it at these shitty judges. Did anyone see the Lawlor/Carmont fight? Why is anyone even talking about the other ones?

    -back to my point-

    There is no replay in MMA. It’s a done deal. You shouldn’t let it ever go to the judges, but you should always err on the side of caution when it comes to striking the back of the head. You will probably get stood up and ,more importantly, you could kill someone doing that. It’s not like an armbar where you’ll almost always heal back to 100%. Also, there are much worse refs in MMA than Big Dan M. I think the fight should stand as a win for Sakara and it would be nice if they could fight again.

    To Lex McMahon(sp?): It is very disresepectful (and kinda stupid) to imply or otherwise state that an athletic commission is biased in any way. It is cowardly and very easy to blame a ref when the actual rules of MMA are nebulous at best in certain situations. You’re not going to win many arguments with them if you go in with that attitude. At the end of the day, these are two Journeymen trying to make a last run at the title. They are gonna try extra hard to make a statement (not to sound cliche). As a ref, you should know these old-skool brawlers are gonna come out trying to decapitate each other. Dan could’ve jumped in sooner, but he didn’t. If he stoppped the fight early, we would be hearing Cote’s camp bitch about how MIragliotta always stops fights early. I’m glad Cote isn’t in a coma or paralyzed and I’m sorry Sakara got his TKO win stripped. The real losers in this one are the refs who are all gonna get grilled about stopping fights (early, late, or probably at all). They have the hardest job in MMA (except Joe Silva) and demand our support and respect. You can poo-poo fighters that tell fans to go in and fight, but you can justifiably tell a lazy, overweight fan to go ref a fight and see how it is. I don’t see many naysayers out shopping for a black and white pinstripe shirt. Put your money where your mouth is, people.

    • Raymond Gonzalez

      Upon further review, Dan DID warn Alessio several times. I’m still not sure why he didn’t reset them on the feet after the first warning. Alessio was trying to advance his position and was throwing strikes, but he saw the shots to the back of the head. Now I don’t know how I feel. I feel cheated…