Andrei Arlovski suffered a broken jaw in the final seconds of the first round in his WSOF 2 main event clash against Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, a fact which makes the ensuing ten minutes of combat even more remarkable.
But did Johnson's late flurry -- which dropped Arlovski twice and nearly ended the fight -- arrive well after the round should've ended? According to Arlovski's coaches at Jackson's MMA, that seems to be the case.
"The NJ athletic commission was [so] worried about the World Series of Fighting getting a new canvas and new corner pads for the cage, they almost canceled the fight Saturday night," Jackson's MMA wrote on Facebook on Thursday. "Unfortunately they forgot to get a time keeper that was trained properly. 1st round 5min 8 sec in the Andrei fight. A devastating blow was landed after the 5min mark. It's amazing how so much time is spent with over regulating but the simple things can cost dearly."
Did the fight-changing exchange come late? After reviewing the video, it definitely appears that way. Click this. For brevity's sake, we've already jump ahead to the moment in question. You can start to hear the 10-second clackers at 5:16. Johnson's first knockdown comes at 5:28, roughly 12 seconds later. The second one, which nearly finished the fight, comes two seconds later, at 5:30. Johnson swarms Arlovski with punches until 5:33 -- at least 17 seconds after the 10-second timestamp.
Even under this layman review, it's obviously the most pivotal moment of the fight should've never actually happened.
Nick Lembo, Deputy Attorney General of the New Jersey athletic commission, did not respond to MMAFighting.com's inquiries at the time of the writing.
Regardless, between this incident and whatever's going on in Quebec, one thing is clear -- it's been a rough few weeks for athletic commissions.
8 MUST-READ STORIES
Jackson's MMA takes aim at N.J. commission. Jackson's MMA released a statement on Facebook condemning the New Jersey athletic commission for allowing the first round of Andrei Arlovski's bout against Anthony Johnson to continue well past the five-minute mark at WSOF 2. Arlovski was floored twice by Johnson punches during the extra time.
Decimal controversy unveils further. Nick Diaz's lawyer, Jonathan Tweedale, revealed transcripts of not-so-flattering text conversations he had with both UFC and Quebec officials in the immediate aftermath of the UFC 158 weigh-ins.
Newton, Rickels take tourney crowns. Light heavyweight Emanuel Newton and lightweight David Rickels emerged victorious in their respective season eight tournament finals on the main card of Bellator 94. Both fighters earned $100,000 grand prizes and automatic title shots for their work.
UFC 162 bookings. Two high-profile featherweight bouts -- Frankie Edgar vs Charles Oliveira and Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver -- have been added to the fight card of UFC 162.
Lamas favored over 'Zombie.' Once again, the "Korean Zombie" is an underdog. According to Las Vegas oddsmakers, Ricardo Lamas opened as a -184 favorite over Chan Sung Jung (+156) ahead of UFC 162's clash of top featherweight contenders.
UFC roster cuts. Four losing fighters from UFC 157 -- Josh Neer, Caros Fodor, Jon Manley and Brock Jardine -- have been released from the UFC.
Bowles is back. After sitting out for over a year, former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles is finally slated to make his return against George Roop at UFC 160. Bowles last competed in November 2011, losing to Urijah Faber via second-round guillotine in a UFC title eliminator.
Velasquez talks Fox. Said UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez about transgender mixed martial artist Fallox Fox: "I don't think she should be able to fight women. Having the same bone structure and everything else as a man, I think definitely does give her an advantage."
Now this is pretty cool. I won't spoil the end, but check out Georges St-Pierre competing against Leo Santos back at 2005's ADCC no-gi tournament. And yes, Santos is fighting on this season of TUF Brazil 2.
Speaking of which, check out the first trailer for an upcoming documentary by Kalheem Poole-Tejada: This is Jiu-Jitsu.
Just in case you'd forgotten how ruthless Cyborg is, Tito and her released this video reminder.
Today's KO Special comes to us all the way from Baghdad.
Best part of this behind-the-scenes look at Johny Hendricks: 2:50 to 3:13. Absolutely adorable.
ON THE MEND
VINNY'S REPONSE TO THIS PHIL DAVIS VIDEO
You just went full retard... Never go full retard... #ufc159— Vinny Magalhaes (@VinnyMMA) March 28, 2013
ODD METHOD OF REVENGE
Guys in sorry about my ex @skopacz233 actions. She has lost her mind. I'm truthfully sorry. She has been posting naked pictures of herself— Junior Assuncao (@juniorassuncao1) March 28, 2013
BLONDE HAIR IS ALWAYS COOL
Throw back Thursday! Man I thought my Blonde hair was cool. instagram.com/p/XZ7Mqyuffl/— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) March 28, 2013
THIS MAN KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING
29 - the year AD in which King Dionysius died and was succeed by Spartacus. 29 days and I too take what is rightfully mine #UFC159 #4/27/13— chael sonnen (@sonnench) March 28, 2013
28 - The IQ of anyone who questions that I'm the baddest man walking around this or any other planet. My coronation awaits. #UFC159 #4/27/13— chael sonnen (@sonnench) March 29, 2013
Announced yesterday (Thursday, March 28, 2013):
- UFC 160: Brian Bowles (10-2) vs. George Roop (13-9-1)
- UFC 162: Frankie Edgar (15-4-1) vs. Charles Oliveira (16-3, 1 NC)
- UFC 162: Cub Swanson (19-5) vs. Dennis Siver (21-8)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes to us from our old friend Matthew Roth: Remembering Jeff Blatnick: Dinner with Nick Lembo
Last year the MMA world was rocked with the news of Jeff Blatnick's passing. For many fans, they learned of Blatnick's life after his death. He didn't do a lot of press and tried to stay out of the media spotlight as much as possible. For others, it hit extremely close to home not only for what he contributed to the sport but also for the legacy that he left behind.
And then there are those that considered him a friend. They are still trying to come to terms with his death and the emptiness that was left in the months that have followed. One of those people is NJSACB counsel Nick Lembo.
I consider Nick a friend. Whenever I travel back to New Jersey, I try and meet up with him for dinner or drinks, to talk about MMA or just talk about life. This past weekend, I was home for the World Series of Fighting's second card, which was held in Atlantic City. We planned to celebrate Jeff's life over some beers and drink to his memory.
Those planned beers almost didn't happen as the Jersey shore was hit with snow and rain on Monday and driving conditions weren't exactly optimal. But Nick and I decided to meet up anyway at a small Irish pub in Forked River, to talk about Jeff Blatnick.
I could tell right away that it wasn't going to be an easy discussion for Nick. Jeff's death hit him extremely hard, not only because they worked together, but also because Jeff was and always will be one of Nick's closest friends.
With dinner finished and several beers consumed, it was then when Nick started to open up about his friend Jeff.
"I had known Jeff from his wrestling days before MMA. He was a legendary figure in the New York and New Jersey area. He'd frequently give seminars and motivational lectures, so he was a legend."
"As much as New Jersey is a wrestling state, I remember the first time that the Pennsylvania commissioner asked for some judges and I recommended, as I would to anyone in the world, Jeff Blatnick. It was a Western Pennsylvania venue and Jeff was saying how he was the most popular guy there. Pictures and autographs, things that just didn't happen to him while he was judging in Atlantic City. He was a big time celebrity out there."
Blatnick's celebrity in wrestling circles was because of his gold medal in Greco-Roman at the 1984 games in Los Angeles, California. He and his teammate Steve Fraser were the first American's to ever capture gold in Greco. What made his run through those games special was that it was extremely unlikely. Two years earlier, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, and needed to have both his spleen and appendix removed.
Anyone with a computer can read about Jeff's gold medal and bouts with cancer on wikipedia. What hasn't been covered is how important he was to the sport of MMA.
There's something known as the Zuffa myth. The abridged version is that MMA was banned nationwide because of Senator John McCain and only due to the hard work and dedication of Dana White and the Fertitta brothers, did the sport get regulated in the United States. It's a great story, but based more on fiction than fact.
The real story is that Blatnick and several others wrote up the first draft of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, and presented them to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB), the first athletic commission to legalize the sport.
"Jeff was an instrumental and an undervalued and an unknown figure in the growth of MMA and the writing of the Unified Rules just because he wasn't a press guy. He wasn't a public figure. He was an instrumental figure as the head of the Mixed Martial Arts Council (MMAC) that the UFC, under its former ownership used to create rules to treat it like a sport."
"Obviously since athletic commissions weren't familiar with the sport at the time, Jeff was trying to hand them a set of rules. There were others involved such as Nelson Hamilton in California, John McCarthy in California, Dr. Istrico in New York, but mainly Jeff's gold medal could get him access to people that other people couldn't gain an audience with."
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in Monday's column.