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NYSAC: Instant replay legally used for Gegard Mousasi vs. Chris Weidman at UFC 210

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UFC 210 photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The use of instant replay is officially allowed in the state of New York, and was indeed used to determine the controversial finish of Gegard Mousasi’s victory over Chris Weidman at UFC 210, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) to MMA Fighting.

The statement addresses a question that has been mired in debate since referee Dan Miragliotta called a stop to the controversial contest midway through the second round at UFC 210 after Mousasi twice kneed Weidman in the head while Weidman was attempting to make himself a grounded opponent by placing both of his hands on the mat. Believing the blows to be illegal, Miragliotta gave Weidman extra time to recover, however he then reversed course and Mousasi was granted a TKO victory after the knees were discovered to be legal.

Several key UFC figures on the pay-per-view broadcast, including UFC regulatory head Marc Ratner, stated that the use of instant replay was not allowed in the state of New York. Nonetheless, Miragliotta appeared to consult fellow cageside referee John McCarthy during the stoppage in action, and McCarthy — having seen a replay — correctly deemed the knees to be legal. In-cage doctors then deemed Weidman no longer fit to continue, and due to the knees not being considered a foul, Mousasi was awarded a TKO victory.

Confusion has since reigned over the legality of instant replay under NYSAC jurisdiction. And on Tuesday, the commission confirmed to MMA Fighting that instant replay is not only allowed in the state, but was also used to reach the NYSAC’s decision for Mousasi vs. Weidman.

“Mr. Weidman was determined to be unable to continue the match due to legal blows received, resulting in a TKO,” the NYSAC said in a statement. “In New York State, it has been held that the Commission may review video evidence in order to meet its obligation to render correct determinations and act in the best interest of the sport.

“After the referee initially ruled the strikes from Mr. Mousasi illegal, he consulted with the alternate referee during the physician assessment of Mr. Weidman and determined that the knee strikes by Mousasi were not illegal. During the examination of Mr. Weidman by Commission medical staff, it was determined he was medically unfit to continue and the referee ruled a TKO victory in favor of Mr. Mousasi.”

The question of instant replay use in New York was previously murky to the point that not only were several UFC officials unaware of the rule, but the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board also issued a statement on Monday strongly encouraging all other regulatory bodies to implement the use of video review.

At UFC 210’s post-fight press conference on Saturday, a frustrated Weidman indicated that he planned to file an appeal regarding the NYSAC’s decision in the Mousasi bout. Weidman’s longtime coach, Ray Longo, also voiced displeasure about the ruling during a Monday appearance on the Anik Florian Podcast.

“Stick to your f*cking decision,” Longo said of Miragliotta. “I want to know who the hell convinced him to change his mind.

“Take it step by step. Stick to your call and that’s it. Whether the knee was legal or illegal is really irrelevant. Because the other thing that I think people are missing is [Weidman] didn’t go down when he got kneed. He would have kept fighting.”