In a move that was quickly hailed by the MMA community, on Thursday, Brazil's MMA athletic commission overturned the results of a March 21 UFC bout between Drew Dober and Leandro Silva, which was stopped because of a controversial referee intervention.
"After reviewing the case, the Executive Committee...has decided to overturn the result of Leandro Silva vs. Andrew Dober bout and is officially determining it as a no-contest," read a statement from the CABMMA released Thursday and published by Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com.
In the second round of their lightweight contest at UFC Fight Night 62, Dober was on the verge of freeing himself from Silva's guillotine choke when referee Eduardo Herdy stopped the match, apparently believing Dober had tapped out.
Observers were almost unanimously outraged by Herdy's action. This included UFC President Dana White, who after the event called the decision into doubt.
"Everybody in this room and everybody on this planet knows that was bulls--t," White said at the post-fight press conference. "Hopefully that can be overturned into a no-contest and we do it fair."
You have to imagine Eduardo Herdy will never be reffing a UFC event again. The UFC or the farce CABMMA need to make that a No Contest.— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) March 22, 2015
Thursday, CABMMA appeared to agree in making its reversal. However, that reversal is a reversal in and of itself.
Commission members originally said they had no authority to change the decision but evidently changed a rule in order to grant themselves the power to, as the statement read (h/t MMAjunkie), "on an exceptional basis, revert a decision to 'no-contest' if it determines that a good faith judgment call of a referee was mistaken and therefore considered a self-evident error."
This is amazing. "CABMMA has defined a fourth provision regarding the change of decision after contest or exhibition."— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) March 26, 2015
Really like what CABMMA did here in Dober-Silva. Hope other commissions will take notice and consider same amendment. http://t.co/2tuWkuEv81— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) March 26, 2015
Y'all are happy Dober-Silva is a NC now but precedent is set. You'll be sorry when Brazilians get losses overturned due to lactic acidosis.— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) March 26, 2015
It will be interesting to see whether or to what extent this rule change sets a precedent among MMA athletic commissions. In the meantime, it appears a clear error has been rectified, thanks in part to Herdy's willingness to acknowledge his mistake.
"Regarding Mr. Eduardo Herdy, CABMMA is thankful for his professionalism in recognizing this error, helping the entity evolve in its regulatory affairs in Brazil by seeking the development of higher standards and demonstrating his commitment as an official referee of the sport," the statement read.