UFC 123 Short-Round Controversy Under Investigation


Just when you thought UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida was in the books; it was re-opened for further review.

An apparent error in the timekeeping of UFC newcomer Maiquel Falcao’s bout with Gerald Harris came to light in a Tuesday report from Cagewriter.com. The report includes a YouTube video showing what is about a seven-second early stoppage to the first round of the fight.

Maiquel Falcao Gerald Harris UFC 123

Maiquel Falcao choking Gerald Harris at UFC 123

Seven seconds doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can be an eternity when one fighter has a rear naked choke locked tight around the neck of his opponent. That’s exactly the position that Falcao found himself in on Saturday night, trying to squeeze a submission or the consciousness out of Harris as round one wound down.

He appeared close to finishing Harris, but the video, which tracked the time for the entire round clearly shows an early stoppage.

Watching a recording of the fight also shows that the on-screen clock (which is not the official timekeeper’s clock) was at approximately 16 seconds when Falcao applied the choke.  The clock wound down to eight seconds, disappeared from the screen, and the end-of-round horn sounded approximately one to two seconds later.

Stephen Gobbo, Director of Legal Affairs for the Michigan Bureau of Commercial Services, the agency that oversees the state’s mixed martial arts regulation, told MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday that he was aware of the situation and confirmed that the incident was under review. He did not have a timeline for the investigation, nor could he comment as to what, if any, ramifications there might be.

Falcao was awarded a unanimous decision victory after the completion of their three-round fight, so it’s not likely that there would be any action that would affect the outcome of the bout.

If Falcao had finished the submission, he may have been considered for the $80,000 UFC 123 Submission of the Night bonus that went to Phil Davis, but it is unlikely that there would be any sort of action that would affect that either. Even if Falcao had the full six or seven additional seconds to try and finish the hold, there is no conclusive way of knowing that he would have.

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