Things got a bit odd in New Jersey on Saturday night when Ricky Simon won a TKO victory after beating the Merab Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili was on the way to a three-round decision when Simon had thrown a neck in the last minute of the fight to create a stranglehold that almost seemed to knock Dvalishvili off track. But every time the referee lifted the Georgian arm to see if he was outside, he answered with a thumbs-up.
This did not prevent the New Jersey Athletic Inspectorate from declaring that Dvalishvili was in fact unconsciously stifling the fight. See the whole story here:
Referee Marc Goddard was on hand to conduct fights in New Jersey and although he was not the referee in this case, he argued for New Jersey's decision to override the victory to Ricky Simon TKO
"I think it was pretty clear at the end of the fight, maybe even before, when the bell sounded, Dvalishvili … he was out there," said Goddard (via MMA Fighting). "He was actually out there, and in that case it's like any other case when you pick up a Heck Thrush or a Guillotine." The fact that he's drifting into unconsciousness was actually ̵
" Referee Liam Kerrigan, to his credit, when he saw [Dvalishvili] was outside, he actually waved off "Goddard continued. "And I think there was a bit of a hurry, people thought we were trying to read the scorecards, so I said," No, no, no. The guy lost the fight. "Although he came pretty sharp afterwards, he definitely lost the fight under the verdict and the right guy went away with the win."
Not according to Dvalishvili, who claims that he is just tired after the fight and then respond to the instructions of the doctors who insisted he lay back.
On the positive side, the fight ended with the Fight of the Night award and $ 50,000 to Dvalishvili and Simon, so at least Dvalishvili will not get over the decision financially. But Dvalishvili is now 0-2 in the UFC, with his first loss from a controversial split decision that the majority of the media thought he won. After this recent incident, we have to imagine that he does not feel so good about the sports officials.