Urijah Faber’s Victory Over Francisco Rivera Stands, Despite Admission of Eye Poke

February 17, 2015
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The outcome of the UFC 181 fight between Urijah Faber and Francisco Rivera will not be changed.

Rivera and his camp had contested Faber’s victory over him because there was an accidental eye poke in the moments leading up to the finish.

No one denies the eye poke, including Faber, but the rules currently in place for the Nevada Athletic Commission do not allow for a change in the outcome in this instance.

Urijah Faber vs Francisco Rivera UFC 181Rivera suffered an eye poke in the moments before the end of the fight, but the eye poke itself did not stop the fight. The referee, Mario Yamasaki, did not see the eye poke, so the fight continued as if it never happened, with Faber eventually finishing the fight with a bulldog choke.

In order for the outcome of the fight to be altered, Yamasaki would have had to misinterpreted one of Nevada’s rules, according to Deputy Attorney General Christopher Eccles. Eccles argued that Yamasaki did not misinterpret a rule, he simply did not see the eye poke occur.

Had Yamasaki halted the fight believing there may have been an eye poke, he could have used Nevada’s allowance for instant replay to verify the eye poke, but instant replay did not come into play because Yamasaki did not suspect the eye poke and did not halt the fight.

> SEE ALSO: Urijah Faber vs. Francisco Rivera Fight Highlights Video 

The commission on Tuesday unanimously determined that the outcome of the bout, under current rules and regulations, could not be changed even though there was no question – after the fact – that there was an accidental eye poke in the lead-up to the fight-ending choke.

The commission also determined that there is a real need to review the rules and determine if there is a better way to deal with eye pokes, which seem so prevalent in mixed martial arts. That discussion, however, will come at a later date.

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  • shakejunt

    unfortunate, but i figured this would be the result. let’s just hope we get to see the rematch one day.

    • Kenneth CalabroJr

      yup, and maybe NSAC will review and change the rules. Not blaming Faber at all. But eye pokes seem to have gotten all to common in recent fights… or is it just in Jon Jones fights? Regardless they need to address it

      • shakejunt

        why is it that jon jones is the first name people spout off when it comes to pokes? does everyone not remember what bisping did to alan belcher? or noons or cruickshank? or phil davis to wagner prado?

        • Wardsize

          It will be news when JJ fights someone and DOESN’T poke them in the eye.

        • Kenneth CalabroJr

          Because Jones pokes everyone in the eye. Usually multiple times in EVERY fight. Not try to hate on him, but it’s just the facts. He’s the poster boy for eye pokes like it or not. Sure, other fighters have but none with the regularity of Jones. That’s why shakejunt.

  • Guest

    stupid bulls**t commission rules. the world witnessed the eyepoke, who care what the silly referee thought.