Mustapha Been an Eye Poke

Written by Tom Ngo
June 17th, 2009


Although Mustapha al-Turk was getting dominated in his UFC 99 bout against Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, it wasn’t until CC perfectly executed a Greco-Roman thumb-to-the-eye that allowed him to finish off al-Turk. The eye poke may have been accidental, but al-Turk and Co. are looking to appeal the loss.

“We are going to appeal that. We don’t think it’s right that it should be a TKO,” al-Turk’s manager Ken Pavia stated after the loss. “The referee should have caught onto the eye poke. Look at “Henderson vs. Franklin” at UFC 93 in Dublin. Franklin got a timeout when he got eye-poked.”

As Cro Cop continued to pick al-Turk apart with his mitts, it was obvious that the fatal blow which caused al-Turk to hunch over was the eye-poke. CC immediately pounced on the blinded Englishman before he was finally pulled off of him with 3:06 to go in the 1stRound.

Marc Ratner, UFC vice president of regulatory affairs, told MMAWeekly.com that although their intentions are in the right place, an appeal would not be possible.

“It’s very simple,” Ratner told the website. “By the unified rules … first of all, the referee didn’t see the foul. What you’re asking is can we go to instant replay. You’re saying now that the fight’s over, can you take a look at it? If the referee had seen the finger and stopped the fight immediately, he could have given a stop for five minutes to recover, and then if (al-Turk) couldn’t have gone on, it would have been a no-contest.”

Once again, the referee in question is Dan Miragliotta. Yes, the same Dan Miragliotta that prematurely stopped the Brandon Vera/Fabricio Werdum fight at UFC 85, as well as missing Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson tapping out while in James Thompson’s guillotine choke at “EliteXC: Primtime.”

Unfortunately for Pavia, he has been down this road before with another one of his clients. Anthony Johnson was accidentally poked in the eye by Kevin Burns in the final round of their battle at “Fight Night 14.” Although Johnson was dominating Burns for the majority of that fight, the appeal was for not.

Steve Mazzagatti reffed that tussle, however didn’t see the infraction and ruled the fight a TKO after Burns pounced on the fallen Johnson.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission rejected Pavia’s appeal that time due to “lack of remedy.”

Props to Pavia for having his fighters’ backs. However, the MMA super agent is well aware going in that this will be another losing battle.

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