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Texas commission says Ryan Benoit won't be punished for late kick to Sergio Pettis

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ryan Benoit will neither be fined nor suspended by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) for his post-fight kick to Sergio Pettis at UFC 185, a commission representative informed on Monday.

Benoit, 25, scored a substantial comeback win over Pettis on Saturday in Dallas, TX, dropping the flyweight prospect with a hard counter left hook just six minutes into a fight that was otherwise completely one-sided in Pettis' favor. Benoit swarmed to get the second-round TKO finish, then in his excitement, kicked Pettis in the rear well after referee Kerry Hatley stopped the contest.

Benoit (8-3) drew the ire of his hometown Texas crowd for his behavior and was immediately apologetic, and according to the TDLR, that remorse made all the difference.

"Mr. Benoit apologized to Sergio Pettis and his camp for his kick to the backside of Pettis while caught up in the excitement of the moment," wrote TDLR public information officer Susan Stanford. "The Pettis camp did not wish to file a complaint with the Department against Mr. Benoit.

"Greg Alvarez, TDLR's Combative Sports Manager spoke sternly with Mr. Benoit, stressing this type of behavior is not acceptable nor that of a professional fighter," continued Stanford.

"No further action will be taken against Benoit as the situation was addressed ringside."

UFC President Dana White echoed a similar sentiment at Saturday night's post-fight press conference, stating that Benoit would not be punished by the UFC for his behavior.

"The kid was fired up," White said. "He did it. He immediately apologized afterwards.

"The same thing happened in Joanna (Jędrzejczyk's) fight (against Claudia Gadelha) and she started apologizing. When someone apologizes and realizes what they did and apologizes, it's all good."

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