New Mexico Athletic Commission suspends Jason High for one year, leaves Sanchez-Pearson decision as is

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Jason High is paying dearly for his mental lapse inside the Octagon earlier this month.

According to New Mexico State Athletic Commission chairman Tom King, High has been suspended for one year for pushing referee Kevin Mulhall after his second-round TKO loss to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque, N.M. The suspension expires on June 7, 2015.

In addition to the suspension, High has been fined 10 percent of his fight purse, which amounts to $1,900.

Chairman King said High has the right to appeal the decision. MMAFighting.com contacted High after speaking to Chairman King to find out if he would and High said he would look into it, however, High added he had yet to be formally contacted by the commission. High's manager Mike Kogan said they would appeal.

Last week, UFC president Dana White, who admitted he did not see the incident live or after the fact, released High for his actions.

"That Jason High kid got up and pushed a referee - he's cut," White said. "I'm going to cut him. I look at that the way [Paul] Daley put his hands on his opponent after a fight was over. You don't ever, ever f------- touch a referee, ever. You're done here. He's been apologizing on Twitter, but he's done."

High said on this week's episode of The MMA Hour that he found out he was released via Twitter.

"I haven't lost my job. I've just lost the organization," High said. "I can still fight, like I said. I'm not going to beg or anything like that. I mean, I'll talk to [UFC executives]. My management team, Mike (Kogan), has talked to them. But you know, it's kinda like once Dana makes a kneejerk decision, then most of the time he's not looking back at the decision."

Immediately after the incident, High apologized to Mulhall in person and via Twitter. Chairman King said that had he not done that, the punishment would have been more severe.

He apologized to the referee and got on Twitter," King said. "That's why it's only a year.

"You do not hit or push an official ever and certainly not in New Mexico."

The decision to suspend High for one year was made at a special commission meeting Wednesday night. Also discussed was the controversial scorecards in the Ross Pearson vs. Diego Sanchez fight, which Sanchez ultimately won via split decision. Chairman King said that the conclusion was made that there is nothing in the commission's rules or statutes that allows them to reverse a controversial decision. Chairman King added that the commission will look to "judge the judges" better and make sure the right people are in place to score fights.

While he would not say whether he agreed with Sanchez winning the fight, he said he plans on speaking to judges Jeff Collins and Chris Tellez to find out why the scored the fight in favor of Sanchez.

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