Cody Stamann prefers handling business in the cage, but his next fight may go against the North Carolina Boxing and Combat Sports Commission after he was wronged in his most recent outing against Douglas Silva de Andrade at UFC Charlotte.
The incident in question took place in the opening round after Stamann secured a takedown. With Stamann’s knees still on the ground, de Andrade caught him with an upkick, which is illegal. Referee Wayne Spinola paused the action to hand out a warning to de Andrade, but then he just restarted the fight on the feet, neither penalizing the Brazilian with a point deduction not giving Stamann back his hard-earned top position.
Even in the moment, Stamann couldn’t believe what was happening, which he admits took him out of his game momentarily as the referee hastily got the action started again.
“I was dumbfounded at what was happening,” Stamann told MMA Fighting. “You could see he said ‘fight’ and I’m still standing there protesting, like, ‘What?’ I’m still looking at the ref and Douglas Silva de Andrade is coming forward at me. I got all kinds of s*** on Twitter like, ‘Why didn’t you protest?’ and I was like, ‘You do realize there was this crazy Brazilian motherf***** chasing me across the cage at that moment? Did you want me to just put my hands down and be like, timeout!’ You can’t call timeouts in MMA.
“For the rest of that round, it took me out of that flow state. I think I got it back after talking to my corner and starting that second round, but, brutal.”
Stamann knew the referee made an egregious error by neither penalizing de Andrade nor giving Stamman back his top position, which is why his manager Jason House ultimately filed an appeal with the commission.
It’s impossible to know how much that moment altered the outcome of the fight after Stamann lost a unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the fight 29-28 in favor of de Andrade. Stamann believes regaining that top position could have allowed him more time to do damage and control de Andrade rather than just standing the fight up again, which actually hurt him more than his opponent.
“It’s cut and dry,” Stamann said. “There’s only two options in that situation. In the rules, there’s only two options. You give him a warning and you give me the position back, or you take the point and we go back to our feet. Either one of those options, great options for me. He did neither.
“You cannot stand someone up and not penalize [my opponent] for doing something illegal. You can’t give someone an advantageous position for doing something illegal. There has to be a point taken or you go back to the same exact spot. It’s crazy. I do think that I will win this appeal. I think it will probably be a no-contest, but that’s still so unsatisfying for me, because I deserved a win.”
Stamann makes a compelling argument. The unified rules of MMA plainly state “if a bottom contestant commits a foul, unless the top contestant is injured, the fight shall continue, so as not to jeopardize the top contestant’s superior positioning at the time.”
Deep down, the 33-year-old bantamweight believes more than anything that Spinola just didn’t know the rules, which is what led to the error made in the cage.
“It’s just a blatant lack of knowledge on his part,” Stamann said. “He just didn’t know what to do. The guy’s a boxing ref. He’s not an MMA ref. He didn’t know the rules. His comment to my coach [solidified it] afterwards because my coach was like, ‘Dude, you have any idea what you just did?’ My coach is all fired up and [the referee said], ‘Well, I couldn’t recreate that position.’ You couldn’t recreate that position? You couldn’t put one guy on bottom and put me on top?
“That’s how inexperienced this guy is. He had no business being in the cage with me and another veteran of the UFC. We know the rules better than him. We would have been a lot better off if he hadn’t been in there. We know the rules. It sucks. It really sucks.”
Stamann added that the referee’s mistake and inexperience makes him question where he fights next, especially if the UFC ends up going to another state or country that doesn’t hold major MMA events on a regular basis with more experienced officials in charge.
“It’s definitely something I’m going to be a lot more conscious of moving forward,” Stamann said. “Because I had this same deal against Song Yadong in Washington D.C., a place where there are no MMA fights. This is the second time in my UFC career, third time overall, where I’ve had a decision just ripped out from underneath me.
“I will definitely be aiming to fight in Las Vegas. At least I know, at that point, it’s the most level playing field I’m going to get.”
With the appeal process still in motion, Stamann is holding out hope the commission overturns his fight to a no-contest, but that still won’t satisfy his desire have a win on his record.
That’s why he’s anxious to book another fight sooner rather than later.
“The only thing that’s going to take this nasty taste out of my mouth is just to get back in there,” Stamann said. “No damage, I have one little scratch on my face from me blocking a punch and putting a fingernail into my nose. I don’t have a f******* scratch on me. No matter what anyone thinks happened in that fight, whether you think I won or lost, the first criteria is damage and I have none. I’m ready to do it again.
“I don’t care if it’s two weeks from now, a month from now, two months from now. I’ll take a week and relax and then I’ll get back to work. That’s the only thing I really can do other than deal with North Carolina and the appeal process.”