Dvalishvili’s Appeal Denied by NJSAC

Ricky Simon’s win over Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Atlantic City will stand, as Dvalishvili’s appeal has been denied by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission.

As reported by Bloody Elbow, Matthew Culley, Dvalishvili’s manager, filed a request to have the result reviewed by the NJSAC. Simon took Dvalishvili down in the final minute of their April 21 bout and spent the remainder of it in a chokehold. The horn to end the fight sounded, and Simon released his grip. Dvalishvili’s body flopped to the mat, and referee Liam Kerrigan declared Simon the winner by submission despite the horn already going off.

MMA official Marc Goddard (seated cageside) agreed with Kerrigan’s decision, and that played a role in the commission’s decision to keep the result as is. The statement from Commissioner Larry Hazzard also cited support from legendary referee “Big” John McCarthy in support of the referee’s decision.

“The established written protocol for me to overturn a referee’s call; is, if in my discretion; the referee committed a self-evident and palpable error,” Hazzard wrote. “We fully are aware of the disparity of the viewpoints of the declared outcome. This is true even after days of discussion by fans and media and countless video reviews.

I can only state that Kerrigan was unwavering in his call, and that I believe him to be correct, or at least well within his discretion to make such a call. Despite the variety of opinions, we note that veteran referee Marc Goddard was cageside and agreed with the call. Furthermore, the most experienced referee in the sport’s history, John McCarthy (who watched offsite via television) felt that the outcome was just and proper.

Original Story: Bloody Elbow

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