You know the old saying, never leave it in the hands of the judges. Well, apparently in Costa Rica you can't leave it in the hands of the promoter either.
Former UFC fighter Hermes Franca battled Ferrid Kheder at Xtreme Vale Tudo (XVT) 5 en route to what should have been a clear unanimous decision win for the Brazilian.
Instead, he was named the loser, causing the mass confusion seen in the video below (via Middle Easy):
So what happened? Hear from Franca and watch video of the actual fight after the jump.
From The Underground:
Hey guys. Hermes Franca here. It's been a while. I miss you guys a lot. I wanted to share a couple things explaining the botched outcome of my fight. I'm really upset and sad about what happened. The mma family is really small. Here's a letter that was sent to me recently. Please share, so that people really understand what happened that night. I will send the videos soon. I want to make sure this promoter(Jean Fransois) isn't involved with mma anymore.
Franca shares a letter written by an event attendee that sums up what went wrong:
When the winner was to be announced there was a delay, after a few awkward moments the referee begin to raise Franca’s hand then the announcer who is French as is Kheder, called for Kheder’s hand to be raised, the referee refused to raise Kheder’s hand so the announcer raised it. The fans started booing at this obvious sham!
I witnessed the corner man (an American) for Franca pleading to the announcer to check the scorecards again. The French announcer, who only moments before I personally heard speak perfect Queen’s English, now acted as though he understood nothing this poor corner man was saying; I found this utterly despicable and decided to get involved. The promoter had rushed from the arena immediately after the fans started to voice their displeasure with this travesty of sportsmanship and fair play so she was unavailable to comment.
I introduced myself to the corner man and he tells me his name is Dave Jensen. The announcer refuses to acknowledge that he has the score cards when I tell him he’s obligated to show them to Franc’s team. Being familiar with how this process works and not having the emotional involvement of the Dave the corner man I suggest we talk directly to the judges. The two of us approach the three judges and we ask them who they awarded the fight to, all three say Franca. We then ask the referee and he tells us he too had Franca as the winner, he tells us he refused to raise Kheder’s hand because Franca won and in fairness he wouldn’t raise Kheder’s hand (I commend him for that). I even hear Kheder saying to the French announcer (in English no less) to call the fight a "no contest"!
Chris Parry of The Vancouver Sun (via Bloody Elbow) shares some not-so-coincidental background information:
One of the organizers of the event is a woman named Lu Dwyer, owner of J & L Irrigation in Fresno, California, co-producer of Zombie Hunters, and the person who produced this event for TV. She's not only a sponsor of Ferrid Kheder, but also his business partner.
Through J&L, Dwyer supports "Team FK" by paying his living expenses and taking a percentage of his winnings. She promotes his website on her Facebook page.
Below is the full Hermes Franca vs. Ferrid Kheder fight video from Xtreme Vale Tudo 5 (courtesy of Sherdog.com):
Ferrid Kheder said on Facebook his fight with Hermes Franca has been ruled a no-contest by Lu Dwyer:
Rough translation by myself:
"Following the controversy surrounding my fight with Hermes Franca at XVT 5, Lu Dwyer, who organises the show, has decided to turn the decision to a no-contest and offer a rematch to Hermes Franca as soon as possible, for a 5 round fight."
Kheder also says he didn't like how things unfolded at the official result's announcement and that Lu Dwyer wants to remain fair.
So what do you think Maniacs? Is this (another) lesson to avoid any and all unsanctioned events? Let's hear your take on the Costa Rican screwjob.