UFC Vegas 30 featured a co-main event between two struggling heavyweights: Tanner Boser and Ovince Saint Preux were both coming into their bout on two-fight losing streaks. How things went would largely determine who would remain relevant and who might end up getting his walking papers.
So when things ended with Boser knocking out Saint Preux shortly after getting back to his feet with the alleged aid of a cage grab (watch highlights), you better believe Team OSP was pissed. In fact, they will be filing an appeal with Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). And whether you believe there was a cage grab or not, Saint Preux says the appeal has more to do with the referee believing there was and interfering in the match.
You be the judge:
“I felt the ref put his hand on my back, which is only done to pause the action or call a finish,” Saint Preux said in a statement to MMA Fighting. “I slightly paused and then the tide turned. We will be protesting and requesting a no-contest.”
What initially looked like a clear-cut fence grab that allowed Boser to pull himself to an angle where he could stand up later became more of a question mark. The replay angle seemed to show Boser’s fist on the cage, but no indication his fingers were actually in the fencing.
UFC’s commentary booth was split on whether it was a grab, with Daniel Cormier siding strongly on it being one. But, later he changed his opinion after watching the moment on social media.
Boser also denied there being a grab, despite claiming he didn’t even remember the moment.
“I heard his corner yelling about it,” Boser said during the UFC Vegas 30 post-fight press conference. “But I don’t remember doing it. I don’t think there was [a grab]. Their job is to be in the best interest of their fighter. If they believe that I grabbed the fence, they have every right to be angry.
“I don’t believe I grabbed the fence,” Boser concluded. “I didn’t see on the replay that I grabbed the fence, and I’m confident I didn’t grab the fence. But if they believe that’s what happened, they have the right to be upset because that’s their guy. It’s up to the coaches to be on their guy’s side.”
Even if another angle of the moment comes out that shows Boser’s fingers in the fence, we doubt Saint Preux is going to have much luck with NSAC. We’ve seen much more blatant mess ups go down with no remedy provided by commissions, and while he certainly has reason to be upset (the referee did indeed put his hands firmly on OSP’s back during the action), appeals like this are rarely successful.
For complete UFC Vegas 30: “Gane vs. Volkov” results and play-by-play, click HERE.