The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) unanimously voted not to overturn the bout result to a no-contest Tuesday at a meeting in Inglewood, Calif., CSAC executive officer Andy Foster confirmed with MMA Fighting.
Thomson argued that he and Freire clashed heads before the knockout and the damage he sustained led to the finish. The bout took place at Bellator 172 in San Jose, Calif., on Feb. 18.
At the meeting, CSAC acknowledged that there was a clash of heads and that referee John McCarthy missed it in real time. McCarthy said himself in a letter written to the commission that he did not initially see the clash of heads and only saw it after watching a replay of the fight.
Still, the commission ultimately ruled that Thomson was knocked out by a punch — a right uppercut by Freire — not the headbutt, so a foul did not directly cause the finish, Foster said.
“The commission determined an actual clash of heads did occur and the referee didn’t see it,” Foster said. “But the question the commission was faced with was: Was that enough to overturn that result, take that win away from [Freire], when that win was caused by a legal blow?”
Thomson, the former Strikeforce lightweight champion and UFC veteran, argued that Freire would not have been able to land that punch and knock him out had he not already sustained damage from the head clash. The American Kickboxing Academy product expressed his displeasure Tuesday on social media, tweeting at California Governor Jerry Brown.
The CSAC commission makes rules and when presented with facts to support their rules they don't follow them to save face. @JerryBrownGov— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) August 15, 2017
Foster said though the commission did not rule in Thomson’s favor, it will likely add a note to his record that the fight result was reviewed and that Thomson was, indeed, the victim of a clash of heads that was initially missed.
Thomson, 38, mocked CSAC on social media, saying that it would be adding an historic “asterisk” to his record, but not overturning the result.
CSAC has made the asterisk a thing now for mma to avoid opening floods gates to athletes appealing their CSAC mistakes. pic.twitter.com/l6b8CfUX4R— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) August 15, 2017
Foster said it would not be actually an asterisk, but a footnote on his record that is relatively common in the internal Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) database.
“It’s so people can see the California commission has reviewed this fight, that they went through a formal process,” Foster said. “We do notes on people all the time. It’s for other people to know. Somebody might need to know this information someday and it’s important to have when people look.”