The result of Josh Thomson’s fight against Patricky Freire at Bellator 172 looks pretty clear in the record books — a second-round knockout victory for Freire. Thomson, though, is asking the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) to dig a little deeper.
The longtime MMA veteran is appealing the defeat to Freire from that Feb. 18 fight in San Jose due to a headbutt being involved in the sequence of events that led to the finish, CSAC executive officer Andy Foster confirmed with MMA Fighting on Friday.
Freire knocked Thomson out with an uppercut, but Thomson was rocked by an incidental headbutt earlier on. Thomson is hoping the loss gets overturned to a no contest.
Thomson told MMA Fighting that he filed the appeal one week after the fight, but did not want to comment any further on it until after a decision is made “to respect the CSAC appeal process.” Foster said Thomson’s case will likely be brought in front of the commission at the next CSAC meeting May 16 in Costa Mesa.
Freire doesn’t think it’s fair that Thomson is trying to “erase” his win, but he said he would be interested in a rematch if that’s what transpires.
“I think it’s unfair,” Freire said. “I’m upset because, if that happens, it will erase my knockout win. I don’t think the knockout came because of that. He was already hurt with the punches I landed before. If they overturn it, I’d be down to fighting him again. I think that … for an example, if a guy slips and I go there and finish him, is he going to say he lost the fight because of that? I don’t think it’s fair, but I can’t do anything, unfortunately. He’s doing that to try to erase my win. If that happens, I’d accept to fight him again. I’d fight him again.”
Thomson (22-9, 1 NC), the former Strikeforce lightweight champion, was coming off more than a year layoff against Freire. He was on a two-fight winning streak prior to the knockout.
Freire (17-8), who has won three of four with the only loss in that span to lightweight champ Michael Chandler, will be fighting Derek Campos in a rematch in the main event of Bellator 181 on July 14 in Thackerville, Okla.
Additional reporting by Guilherme Cruz