In the fallout of the BattleGround MMA eight-man tournament he won on Friday night, Roan Carneiro made it clear he thought he'd been "robbed" by the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission. The grand prize for navigating the eight-man field in a single night of competition was $50,000. Carneiro was docked 30 percent of his winnings by the OSAC -- $15,000 -- for showing up late to a mandatory physical examination.
Carneiro talked to MMA Fighting about it on Saturday.
"They took 30 percent of my money," Carneiro said. "They said I was late for a physical after the weigh-ins, but I did everything they asked and was never late to anything. They never notified me."
"I heard they can only fine you up to $2,500 for any serious misconduct or if I’m late for anything," he said. "When the promotion paid me after the win, live and inside the cage, they already had discounted the 30 percent. I tried to contact the commission, but they had already left the arena. They didn’t even talk to me."
On Monday, OSAC Executive Director Joe Miller clarified why the fine was levied on "Jucao," and explained the sequence of events as the commission saw it.
"At weigh in, which occurred at 12 noon Thursday, October 2, I gave my rules meeting as I normally do," Miller wrote via email to MMA Fighting. "During the rules meeting I was very specific (four times) I told the fighters, coaches, seconds, etc, that they must report for their pre-bout physicals at 7:00 and gave the location, which was in the hotel that the fighters were staying in. I also made comment that if they did not show up on time that I may cancel their bout, they may be suspended, or fined. The Commission showed up at the physical room in the hotel at 6:30. The four docs showed up a little before 7:00. Carneiro was not present. He was called and texted with no reply. He finally replied to a text at about 7:15 and said he was on his way down. He was texted again about 10-15 minutes later and did not reply. All of the fighters had completed their physicals and the docs were asking where Carneiro was.
"He finally showed up at 8:05. The commission withheld 30 percent of his purse, pending a hearing, which is our standard procedure for fighters who show up late to a weigh-in, check-in or physical exam. Carneiro will receive a certified letter from the commission ('Notice of Hearing') describing his violation and giving him the right to explain and appeal. Upon conclusion of the hearing there will be a findings of fact and an order issued. That order will include any punishment that Carneiro will receive for rule violations. I cannot tell you at this time what that punishment will be."
The longtime MMA veteran Carneiro, who trains at American Top Team, defeated Randall Wallace, Trey Huston and Brock Larson to win the BattleGrounds MMA tournament. The 36-year old Brazilian had five fights in the UFC between 2007-08, in which he scored victories over Rich Clementi and Tony DeSouza. His last fight in the Octagon was a split decision loss to Ryo Chonan at UFC 88 in Atlanta in Sept. 2008.
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