UFC heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga has yet to appeal his loss to Travis Browne at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that any appeal would be forwarded to the state’s attorney general’s office, who would make the final decision on any possible change to the official result.
Kizer added he didn’t know of any “legal or factual” basis to change the decision.
Gonzaga (14-7 MMA, 10-6 UFC) and Browne (14-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) met on the FX-televised main card of the event, which took place this past Saturday at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Early in the first round, Browne delivered a series of devastating elbows to Gonzaga’s head as the Brazilian worked for a takedown against the fence. The fight was waved off after Gonzaga fell unconscious to the canvas.
At least one of the elbows in Browne’s onslaught clearly was illegal and hit the back of Gonzaga’s head, though the Brazilian appeared to lose consciousness prior to the blow. None of the elbow strikes appeared to be of the illegal “12-to-6? variety.
Many referees and commission representatives contend that illegal blows landed as the direct result of legal blows are not counted as fouls. So if Gonzaga went unconscious due to the previous elbows he took, Browne would not be held responsible for the illegal blow.
Gonzaga’s manager, Marco Alvan, announced on Monday he would file an appeal of the official decision, which was ruled a KO at the 1:11 mark of the first round.
“I need to review it to count how many illegal elbows, but it’s a fact that it was illegal,” he wrote. “I never [complain] about a [loss] who knows me know that I handle it good but illegal we can not accept.”
Alvan was unreachable for comment when contacted today.
The loss snapped a three-fight win streak for Gonzaga, a onetime UFC heavyweight title challenger who rejoined the UFC this past year after a nearly two-year layoff. Previously, he earned back-to-back submission wins over Ednaldo Oliveira and Ben Rothwell.
Browne, meanwhile, returned to the winner’s column following a first-round TKO loss to Antonio Silva.
Browne’s first UFC bout was marred by a similar controversy. Fighting James McSweeney at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, he was accused of landing illegal elbows that aided a first-round TKO win. McSweeney ultimately decided against an appeal.
For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.
(Pictured: Gabriel Gonzaga)