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Anthony Johnson’s ‘Towel Gate’ appeal calls for Daniel Cormier to be stripped of his UFC light heavyweight title

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Daniel Cormier could be in trouble now that Anthony Johnson has filed an appeal with the NYSAC over his controversial UFC 210 weigh-in.

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Anthony "Rumble" Johnson's appeal to the NYSAC over Daniel Cormier's so-called "Towel Gate" incident is here and it's got a lot of heated demands.

Cormier made headlines leading up to UFC 210 when he weighed in 1.2 pounds over the allowed 205 pound limit for his light heavyweight title fight against Johnson. But two and a half minutes later, he stepped back on the scale and mysteriously made weight.

Many wondered how exactly he shed the extra weight. Others felt pretty sure they knew: photos and video of the weigh-in showed Cormier placing both hands on a towel held in front of his naked body, an old amateur wrestling trick that can trick sensitive digital scales into shaving pounds off a reading.

Earlier this week, Johnson's manager Ali Abdelaziz declared his intent to appeal on behalf of his client. Now that appeal has been filed, and MMA media have gotten their hands on it. Here's the key section (via FOX Sports):

“Daniel Cormier keenly understands the importance of a fair and honest weigh-ins yet he chose to, inexplicably, grab the towels in front of him while on the scale. He must be called upon to explain, under oath, to the NYSAC [New York State Athletic Commission], Anthony Johnson, the general public, the UFC, his fellow fighters and the sport of mixed martial arts, the reason for his actions at the weigh-in on April 8, 2017.

“After such sworn testimony, if Mr. Cormier could not, would not or did not satisfactory provide an evidence and fact based explanation for his conduct then he should be disciplined for his action by the NYSAC to preserve the integrity of the sport. Should Mr. Cormier be subject to discipline, while it is clear he could be suspended for his actions, at a minimum, Daniel Cormier should be ordered to pay 20-percent of his fight purse to Anthony Johnson and should be stripped of his UFC men’s light heavyweight title for failing to make weight on April 8, 2017.”

Cormier has claimed he only touched the towel to make sure no one got a look at his man parts. And while we're not sure the NYSAC actually has the ability to strip Daniel of his UFC belt, they could possibly suspend him or fine him a percentage of his purse. But that would involve admitting they screwed up on fight weekend allowing Cormier to touch the towel in the first place. And as we've all learnt over the half year since MMA has become legal in New York, they're not likely to do that.

What's more likely is a declaration that no wrongdoing on anyone's part was at play in Cormier's weigh in, followed by a straight denial of Johnson's appeal. But with 20% of Cormier's purse at state, it may end up worth it for Ali Abdelaziz to follow through on his threat to take this to court. And wouldn't that be an interesting fight to follow, one the NYSAC wouldn't have the ability to just arbitrarily end at their whim.