The New Jersey State Athletic Commission (NJSAC) was pretty diligent when it came to the canvas and corner pads World Series of Fighting (WSOF) officials were using at its sophomore event, which went down last weekend (March 23, 2013) at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
So much so, that the event was nearly cancelled because the equipment WSOF had in stock wasn't up to snuff in the eyes of the NJSAC. In the end, all issues were fixed in a timely manner and the show went on as planned.
However, according to Jackson-Winkeljohn Mixed Martial Arts (via Facebook), the commission failed to do one thing correctly, and that was hire a properly-trained timekeeper to keep track of every second of every round.
Why is this important?
According to the post, the first round went over by eight seconds. And granted, usually, in the grand scheme things, eight seconds wouldn't seem like much to fuss about. But, in this case, those eight precious seconds weighed heavily on the outcome of the headlining heavyweight fight between Andrei Arlovski and Anthony Johnson ... and "The Pitbull's" jacked-up jaw.
The camp explains:
The NJ athletic commission was worried about the World Series of Fighting getting a new canvas and new corner pads for the cage they almost canceled the fight Saturday night. Unfortunately they forgot to get a time keeper that was trained properly. 1st round 5min 8 sec in the Andrei fight. A devastating blow was landed after the 5min mark. It's amazing how so much time is spent with over regulating but the simple things can cost dearly.
It's not unusual for a camp to have someone in the corner keeping track of the time on their own, so, it seems Team Arlovski's clock wasn't tick-for-tock with that of the ringside timekeeper and because of it, Arlovski fought with a busted jaw for two rounds, one he received a few seconds after the first round was supposed to be over.
"Rumble" went on to win a unanimous decision (see it here) over the former 265-pound Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) titleholder in what was Johnson's first bout in the land of the big men. The loss snapped Arlovski's four-fight winning streak and sent him to the sidelines -- and operating room -- to get his mug fixed.
But, had those eight extra seconds not been allowed, would the outcome of the fight have been different?
Writers note: I personally re-watched the first round and timed it myself with a stopwatch and it did in fact go over eight seconds. Three seconds after the round was supposed to be over, Johnson landed a huge right hand directly on Arlovski's chin, which subsequently floored him.