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Billy Evangelista Undefeated Again

On May 15, Billy Evangelista walked out of the cage at the Strikeforce event in Fresno having suffered the first loss of his career in controversial fashion. But now the California State Athletic Commission has changed the result of Evangelista's fight with Mike Aina to a no contest, making Evangelista undefeated again.

The May 15 fight ended when Evangelista pinned Aina against the cage and landed a hard knee that left Aina dazed and unable to keep fighting. Referee Herb Dean ruled that Evangelista had landed the knee to Aina's head while Aina's knee was on the ground, which is illegal in MMA. As a result, Dean disqualified Evangelista.

But as you can see in the photo on the right, Evangelista's knee actually hit Aina's shoulder, which is a legal blow. So Evangelista should have been declared the winner by TKO.

I criticized Dean for getting the call wrong at the time, so I'm glad to learn that Dean attended Monday's Athletic Commission hearing and testified that he now knows he made a mistake.

"The video showed it was a fair blow," Dean said at the hearing.

My only issue with what happened Monday is why the Commission declared the bout a no contest, rather than a TKO win for Evangelista -- which Evangelista requested and Dean now says is the correct ruling. Apparently the Commission wasn't sure whether it even had the authority to give Evangelista the win, however, and it also worried that making the bout a win for Evangelista would set a dangerous precedent about instant replay in MMA, which currently is not used in California.

So while Evangelista was still denied the win that he earned, the Commission did what it felt was the best thing, under the circumstances. Now Evangelista is undefeated again.

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