by Steven Marrocco – MMAWeekly.com
According to a new rule passed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission Wednesday, referees in Nevada now have the opportunity to get a second look at a fight’s end to determine its legality.
The final wording as passed: “A referee at the conclusion of a contest or exhibition stopped immediately due to an injury to an unarmed combatant pursuant to NAC 467.718 and after making a decision, may view a replay if available in order to determine whether the injury in question was caused a legal blow or a foul.”
The rule addresses several controversial stoppages in recent history where a fighter lost a contest because the referee couldn’t see an injury that forced a bout’s stoppage.
A referee may now use instant replay to determine whether the action that caused the injury was legal or a foul and make a decision on the fight’s result. Only a referee can decide whether to order a replay.
In one of the most prominent examples of the need to address injury stoppages, UFC welterweight Anthony Johnson was unintentionally poked in the eye by Kevin Burns at UFC Fight Night 14 last July and was denied an appeal to his TKO loss due to the commission’s “lack of remedy” on the incident.
After a discussion on the issues surrounding the new rule, the five-member commission passed it by unanimous vote. NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer told MMAWeekly.com the rule could take effect in as early as 30 days.