Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga was put down by top contender Travis Browne at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 Finale last month in Las Vegas, Nevada, after several elbows to the head thwarted his takedown attempt in the opening frame.
But were the strikes legal?
Team "Napao" appealed the loss to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), arguing that blows to the back of the head are what put the Brazilian down for the count and that referee Chris Tognoni had an obligation to halt the action and send Browne to his corner, giving Gonzaga the opportunity to recover.
Instead, "Hapa" was awarded the victory -- and a $50,000 bonus for "Knockout of the Night."
That's a win that's going to stand, because the NSAC recently denied the appeal, stating that "Nevada law does not provide a procedure to challenge or overturn a decision based on the allegations" made by Marco Alvan, head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor for Team Link in Ludlow, Massachusetts.
See a copy of the letter from Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, in which she calls Tognoni's performance "evenhanded" and "up to the high standards of the Commision" by clicking here.
Below is a clip for review. Watch the ending in slow motion and decide for yourself.
Fair or foul?
The loss to Browne snapped a two-fight winning streak Gonzaga had compiled since his Octagon return in January 2012. For "Hapa," it was a chance to get back into the win column after getting stepped on by "Bigfoot" Silva last October.
Anyone think these two will eventually cross paths again?