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Stephan Bonnar Wants UFC 110 Loss to Be a Draw

The UFC 110 bout between Stephan Bonnar and Krzysztof Soszynski came to an early end because the two fighters clashed heads, opening a big cut on Bonnar's forehead. The referee incorrectly ruled that the cut was caused by a Soszynski punch, and as a result Soszynski was awarded a victory by TKO. But if the referee had correctly ruled it a head butt, the bout would have been declared a draw.

That's what Bonnar wants to have happen.

"It's only fair to get this overturned to a no contest or draw," Bonnar told Matt Erickson of Caged-In.com. "In the rules, if after two rounds a fighter suffers a cut from an illegal blow, they go to the scorecard. The judges had it one round a piece, which would have made it a draw."

Bonnar's explanation is correct. At the start of the third round, the fighters met at the center of the Octagon, touched gloves, and then stepped back. Then they both lunged toward each other to throw punches, and their heads clashed, opening a big cut on Bonnar's forehead. Both fighters realized immediately that it had been a head butt, and both reached up and touched their own foreheads.

At that point referee John Sharp should have stepped in, stopped the clock and asked the doctor to check the cut on Bonnar's forehead. Instead, Sharp called out, "Keep fighting, gentlemen," a clear indication that he wrongly believed it was a punch -- not a head butt -- that caused the cut.

They did keep fighting for almost a full minute before Sharp finally realized how severe the cut was and called a halt to the action for the doctor to inspect it. The doctor said the cut was too bad for Bonnar to continue, and that ended the fight.

When the fight ended, Sharp could be heard on the television broadcast responding to a question about whether it was a head butt that ended the fight, and Sharp wrongly said, "Not a head butt, sir, no. A punch to his head."

Bonnar hasn't yet filed his appeal with the Combat Sports Authority of New South Wales, but he intends to, and there's a pretty good chance that he will get his loss overturned.

There are a lot of issues that this fight brings up, such as whether instant replay should be used to determine the cause of a cut, and whether Sharp is a good enough referee to be working a UFC fight. But there's one issue that remains unsettled: Who's the better fighter, Bonnar or Soszynski. To settle that issue, the UFC should book a rematch.