MMA Fighting confirmed with ONE Championship officials that Alvarez’s DQ from his lightweight bout opposite Lapicus at the April 7 ONE on TNT event has been overturned to a no-contest.
The decision was made by a “panel of independent industry experts and ONE Championship officials, judges, and referees. The panel unanimously validated that illegal strikes to the back of the head occurred, but also ruled by majority that a procedural misstep occurred after the second strike to the back of the head.” ONE’s decision to change the result was first reported by ESPN.
The promotion later sent out a release, which included the following statement:
The panel advised that the bout should have been halted and a warning issued after the second strike to the back of the head. Due to the procedural misstep, Alvarez’s red card has been retracted, with a yellow card issued in its place.
Additionally, a medical review validated the serious nature of the injury and Lapicus’ inability to continue in the fight. The no-contest ruling was made in fairness to all parties.
Alvarez was initially given a red card signaling a DQ under ONE rules after it was deemed by Brown that Alvarez landed multiple punches to the back of the head during a ground-and-pound sequence in the first round.
The official time of the stoppage was 1:02 into round one.
That same evening, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong said that in an initial review of the footage it appeared that Alvarez had landed “four or five illegal blows.” Alvarez immediately called for the result to be overturned, and veteran referee John McCarthy later weighed in adding that he felt Brown needed to be more responsible with his handling of the red card.
ONE on TNT took place in Singapore, where ONE serves as the regulator for its own events.
With the result being changed, Alvarez’s record is now 30-7 (2 NC) while Lapicus’ is 14-1 (1 NC). Alvarez already has his next assignment, he fights Rae Yoon Ok in the co-main event of ONE on TNT 4 this Wednesday.