Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
According to Montreal newspaper La Presse, La Régie des alcools des courses et des jeux spokesperson Joyce Tremblay confirmed that "the decision of the arbitrator is final and without appeal."
The fight between the two lasted just 86 seconds, with Cote rocking Sakara before the Italian returned fire and staggered Cote with standing elbow strikes. He appeared poised to earn a finish but as Cote went low in attempt to grab a leg and initiate a takedown, Sakara hit him with a series of strikes, several of which landed behind the head.
Referee Dan Miragliotta ruled the blows illegal and disqualified Sakara, giving Cote (18-8) the victory, his first in five tries in the octagon.
Sakara's team quickly moved to appeal the decision but their request was denied. According to the Quebec's commission rules, a referee can "warn a competitor, penalize by points or disqualify without prior notice" depending on the foul committed.
In the aftermath of the messy finish, UFC president Dana White criticized Miragliotta's failure to call a timeout at any moment during the sequence of questionable strikes, and said that the promotion might attempt to set up a rematch. It remains to be seen if that happens.
The loss marks the third straight for Sakara, who is now 15-10 with 1 no contest.
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