Just because Charles Oliveira
got his hand raised when it was all over, that doesn't mean his win over Nik Lentz
on the prelim portion of Sunday night's UFC
Live fight card will stand.
That's because while Oliveira may have finished the fight with a rear naked choke, he did so moments after hitting a kneeling Lentz with what appeared to be a blatantly illegal knee to the head. It was that knee that changed the complexion of the fight, said Lentz's coach, Greg Nelson, and that's why he expects Oliveira's win to be change to a no contest by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission.
"It's the illegal knee that basically knocked Nik Lentz out so he could get his back and hook him," Nelson told MMA Fighting
on Monday evening. "I mean, he was clearly down. That knee broke Nik Lentz's eye socket, so it was not a soft knee. He took his time, held the back of the head, wound up the knee and then let it go. ...It was a super hard knee that ended up doing a lot of damage."
But the referee for the fight -- Ohio's Chip Snider -- didn't intervene after the illegal blow, which shocked not only Nelson, but also observers at ringside, he said.
"All the other referees were jumping up, guys from the commission were jumping up, I was jumping up. A lot of people were wondering what was going on, why the fight wasn't being stopped, because it was so blatant. Then the crowd, when they saw the replay, it was doubly obvious to them."
At the moment, the result of the bout still stands as a win for Oliveira, but PSAC executive director Greg Sirb said the commission is currently in the process of reviewing the bout, and expects to have a ruling to announce on Wednesday.
"After the referee came to me and we said we'd look at it, he had no qualms about looking at it, and we're in the process of doing that," said Sirb, who added that no appeal from the Lentz camp was necessary in order to start the review process. Sirb said that both he and the referee will look at the fight separately and discuss it over the phone before arriving at a decision.
"We looked at it a little bit last night and the ref will look at it again today, just to make sure we're on the same page," Sirb said. "We should have something I imagine some time [Wednesday]."
Earlier this week, Nelson wrote online that the result of the bout had already been changed to a no contest, but that was based on information he got from UFC officials after the fight, he said.
"I was told by the guys at the UFC that it was going to be overturned. ...Of course I spoke to as many people as I could and they were reiterating to me that they were pretty sure the commission would overturn it. That was across the board. Everyone who saw it who I talked to, that's what they said. They couldn't believe that it wasn't stopped when it happened."
As for Lentz, he spent Sunday night in the hospital, having his badly damaged eye
seen to. Nelson described his fighter as "really upset" with the result of the fight, though he was pleased to receive the $50,000 bonus from the UFC for Fight of the Night. Nelson also said Lentz would have to wait until he could get back to Minneapolis and see his doctors there before they would know the full extent of his eye injury.
The knee that caught Lentz was a brutal and illegal one, Nelson added, but he doesn't think it was particularly malicious on Oliveira's part.
"I don't think it was done on purpose. It was done in the heat of the moment, but it was still done."