John Albert was none too pleased that his fight with Erik Perez was stopped by referee Kim Winslow when he didn’t actually tap out, so he’s decided to file an appeal with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The end of the fight in question came towards the end of the first round when Perez locked on an armbar, and while the hold appeared tight, Albert never actually tapped out or verbally submitted, but Winslow still rushed in to stop the fight.
At the time, there was some concern that Albert let out some kind of scream when he first got locked in the armbar, but according to the former Ultimate Fighter competitor, what actually happened was anything but a shout of excruciating pain.
“I just looked up the rule and the unified UFC rule is ‘screaming in agony’ is the verbal tap. Screaming in agony I quit, I tap, I stop, those are the verbal submissions, and I didn’t do any of those. I definitely wasn’t screaming in agony, I was just grunting to step over his head. It’s just a crappy situation I guess,” Albert told MMAWeekly Radio following the fight.
While the UFC stepped up and gave Albert his win bonus for the fight regardless of the outcome, the loss still shows up as a loss on his record and in his mind that’s just not fair. Fact is according to Albert, he never even got the opportunity to fight out of the hold or try to finish the round.
The fight just got stopped.
“You see lots of refs checking on the fighters, making sure they’re okay, making sure they’re not conscious, making sure they’re physically able and ready to continue fighting. She never even gave me that chance,” said Albert.
“Another thing when they are protecting the safety of the fighter, I think that someone who’s cognitively able to choose whether or not to fight. If I get knocked out, I can’t choose whether or not to to keep fighting cause I’m out, if I get choked unconscious I can’t choose whether or not to continue or to fight. That’s where the safety of the fighter comes in. Cause I can’t defend myself I’m out. Where as I’m awake, I’m cognitive, there’s no reason for her to stop the fight because I have a free hand, I have a mouth, everything is working fine and I can choose whether or not to end the fight. I did not choose to end the fight.”
Following the conclusion of the bout, Albert admits he was in shock and disbelief mostly at the actions that just occurred, but actually holds no ill will towards Winslow for her error. He did say however that following the fight when talking to the commission, Winslow stated she stopped the fight because of potential injury, not because Albert gave up.
“I’m not angry at her. I mean she’s just trying to look out for a fighter, and she’s human she makes mistakes. My coach Dennis Hallman, being the great coach that he is, was pretty much berating her the whole time during the decision, and then he even brought her down to the commission after the fight and saying ‘he didn’t tap’,” Albert explained.
“I can’t swear upon this cause I wasn’t there but Dennis told me she said in front of the commission that I did not verbally tap, that she was just concerned for my arm.”
The plan will now be for Albert and his management team to file an appeal to the commission to have the loss overturned into a no contest.
“If I lose, that’s fine as long as I gave 110-percent I’m happy, but I feel both me and Erik were cheated, and I feel bad for Erik cause he’s got the win on his record, and I don’t feel I deserve the loss so I am going to dispute it,” Albert revealed.
“If I get a no contest that will make me happy. We’re definitely going to contest it.”
As far as what’s next for his career, Albert has been promised another shot in the UFC after the controversial ending, but he’s not all that interested in a rematch with Perez despite the way their first fight went. The fact is Albert wanted the chance to end that fight, and it’s not Perez’s fault the referee made the mistake.
“It really doesn’t matter to me because I honestly feel since they took away that fight at hand, that’s the fight that I wanted to win cause we had both trained for that fight. To set up that rematch, it’s never going to be the same fight,” said Albert.
“I’d rather just move on and fight somebody else, but if the fans want to see it, they thought it was a good enough fight to rematch, I’ll fight him any time.”
The plan for now will be for Albert to appeal the decision with the commission and hope they hear him out and overturn the bout into a no contest. In the meanwhile, he will get back into training and wait for the call from the UFC so he can wash the bad taste of this situation out of his mouth.