Back in February, Josh Thomson took a loss to Patricky "Pitbull" Freire on the main card of Bellator 172 in San Jose, California. While the official record has the fight as a KO loss, Thomson has spent months fighting the California State Athletic Commission to acknowledge an inadvertent headbutt that occurred moments before getting finished.
And while there will be no overturning of that loss, the CSAC did indeed admit that a headbutt happened. As a compromise, they voted to add a note to the fight's record. That didn't exactly go over very well with Thomson, who declared it the first asterisk in MMA history.
“Honestly, this whole thing shows now that they voted as soon as the asterisk was offered to me, they all automatically voted yes," Thomson told BJPenn.com. "So it just goes to show they have no concern for fighter safety. And, the fact that Big John was not in the right spot. He admitted he wasn’t in the right spot. He admitted that he didn’t see. He admitted he would have stopped the action had he seen it.”
“They didn’t care about that. They didn’t care about the fact that a fighter was dropped due to a headbutt. All they cared about is making sure they didn’t have to overturn a decision that they made previously.”
CSAC has made the asterisk a thing now for mma to avoid opening floods gates to athletes appealing their CSAC mistakes. pic.twitter.com/l6b8CfUX4R— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) August 15, 2017
CSAC executive officer Andy Foster told MMA Fighting that the asterisk was more of a footnote in the Association of Boxing Commissions database, and Thomson is hardly the first person to receive one.
“It’s so people can see the California commission has reviewed this fight, that they went through a formal process,” he clarified. “We do notes on people all the time. It’s for other people to know. Somebody might need to know this information someday and it’s important to have when people look.”
As for the refusal to overturn the fight result even though the headbutt led to a finish?
“The commission determined an actual clash of heads did occur and the referee didn’t see it,” Foster said. “But the question the commission was faced with was: Was that enough to overturn that result, take that win away from [Freire], when that win was caused by a legal blow?”
It's just another sign that it's nigh impossible for fighters to have bogus losses overturned. Commissions have long held a reputation for being extremely unwilling to change the results of a fight, no matter how strong a fighter's case is. At least these days we get a front row seat via the internet so they can’t hide their shady decisions.