William Gomis officially has a UFC knockout win on his record, but there will be more than a few people scratching their heads over this one.
A featherweight battle between two French fighters at UFC Paris ended in confusing fashion after Gomis connected with a kick that landed around the stomach on opponent Yanis Ghemmouri. Ghemmouri immediately reacted as if he had been struck below the belt, but referee Loic Para said there was no low blow, and rather than pause the action, he waved the bout off in Gomis’ favor.
See the strange finish below.
There wasn’t much to pique the Paris crowd’s interest for much of the fight, as Gomis and Ghemmouri engaged in a duel that was high on fundamentals and short on aggression. The larger, more experienced Gomis appeared to be leading on the scorecards before the fateful blow connected.
Replays of the strike were inconclusive as Gomis’ foot did not appear to strike the groin directly, but it may have glanced the cup. Ringside commentator Michael Bisping said during Gomis’ post-fight interview that the sequence was reviewed and the finish was upheld. The official time of the stoppage was 2:20 into Round 3.
“Look, I’ve been doing fighting for over 10 years, I know how to aim my shots,” Gomis said via a French translator. “I know that I hit properly. I think I hit him on the belt, which wouldn’t be an illegal shot. To anyone who’s booing me, [have] a little respect. That’s the decision that was made.”
It’s unclear why Ghemmouri was not given the opportunity to continue fighting as he only stopped fighting because he believed that he was the victim of a low blow.
Take another look at the alleged illegal strike below.
William Gomis vs. Yanis Ghemmouri ended controversially at #UFCParis— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) September 2, 2023
Gomis landed a kick and was declared the winner by TKO after the referee waved off the fight, but Ghemmouri felt the kick was low. pic.twitter.com/uERsCCofUf
According to the official result, Gomis is now 3-0 in the UFC and has now racked up 11 consecutive victories.
Ghemmouri sees a nine-fight win streak snapped. Typically a bantamweight, Ghemmouri was moved to the 145-pound contest as a replacement for an injured Lucas Almeida after originally being scheduled to fight Caolan Loughran on the preliminary portion of Saturday’s card.