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Controversial UFC Vegas 38 Co-Main Event Decision

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A premature ending to UFC Vegas 38 Co-main event caused a controversial No-contest between Kevin Holland (#14 21-7-1 NC) and Kyle Daukaus (10-2-1 NC). During the short bout, Holland did display better takedown defense as he shouted across the octagon to Daniel Cormier, “a bit better right DC?”.

Holland vs Daukaus No-contest

Between both at the standup, Daukaus did land the cleaner strikes on the feet. The controversy started as Daukaus ducked under one of Holland’s strikes. As he came back up, Holland came forward and inadvertently collided his jaw with Daukaus’ forehead. Holland went out and fell forward, seemingly out. Daukaus did the right thing he saw his opponent down and jumped on him. Holland, though, seemed to be fighting back and did scramble back to his feet where Daukaus managed to sink in a rear-naked choke, Forcing a tap from Holland. However, after the official decision, the bout was deemed a No-contest as an inadvertent but illegal blow led to the finishing sequence. Holland definitely took the brunt of the damage from the blow.

It was the fightback from Holland that caused the controversy. During the discussion of the review referee Dan Miragliotta said, he was about the stop the match at the point of the clash of heads, but when Holland was scrambling, he signaled to the review official to check the replay as he thought maybe the collision was not as bad as he first thought. At this point, he seemed to be willing to let the victory by submission stand for Daukaus. Upon furthering reviewing, seeing the replay again himself, and speaking to other UFC officials, he decided it was a No-contest.

MMA Community’s Reaction

This decision has left the MMA community divided. Whilst the discussion between officials was being conducted, on the commentary, DC stated he thought it should be a no contest. Kenny Florian was quick to counter on Twitter, that as the match was not stopped at the point of the clash of heads the submission victory should stand. Jon Anik, UFC commentator and Co-host of the Anik and Florian Podcast tweeted he thought it should have been a No contest because Holland being compromised led to the finish. Michael Bisping on his YouTube channel also echoed Anik’s view, whereas others have seen Florian’s point of view stating if Holland managed to land a knockout strike even from a compromised state the decision would have been upheld and even praised.

This is not the first time a review official’s advice has come into play recently. On the 4th of September, Molly McCann took on Ji Yeon Kim. In the first round, Molly seemingly was knocked down by a strike. The reviewing official noticed it was again a clash of heads and let to commentary team and the judges know that it should not be counted as a knockdown. Many believe this is a great job of the reviewing official to point out things that have been missed in the heat of the movement. This allows the judges and referees to make the most informed decision possible. However, the referee officiating the bout, in this case, Dan Miragliotta, has the final decision.

Both fighters have been amicable to each other. Holland even said he was ok with taking a loss saying he was knocked out and submitted in the same match, but asked what he remembers about the fight after the clash of heads he admits nothing and will have to see the replay. Daukaus, despite being disappointed in haveing his victory taken away said he intends to be better in the rematch.


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Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images

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