Resurrection Fighting Alliance was supposed to be making headlines for its recent welterweight title fight between Brian Camozzi and Nick Barnes, but they have been in headlines for another reason.
In one of the most controversial judges' decisions this year, previously undefeated Boston Salmon lost to Zac Riley, now 5-3. The two fought for the vacant RFA welterweight title.
Salmon was on a five-fight win streak heading into the bout, and was a heavy favorite in the fight. He picked up two knockdowns in the first round and another one in the second, before coasting through the final round for what appeared to many to be a clear victory. The fight was so one sided that former UFC Welterweight Champion and current AXS TV analyst Pat Miletich scored the bout 30-26.
However, the judges did not see eye-to-eye with Miletich, or most of the fans watching. With scores of 29-28, 28-29, and 29-28 Riley was able to secure the split decision win, giving Salmon the first loss of his MMA career.
The shocking decision has left many in attendance stunned, including broadcast commentator Michael Schiavello.
"Managers and fighters, whenever they lose they say 'Oh it was a bad decision,' and this and that," Brian Butler, Salmon's manager, told Inside MMA. "I understand how much that happens, so I understand how we can get lost in the mix there. But there are cases that are legitimate and viable."
Following the decision, Salmon and Butler have decided to start the appeals process to have it overturned.
The fight took place in Broomfield, Colorado, and is therefore under the jurisdiction of the Colorado State Boxing Commission. The CSBC has four guidelines in which a fighter can appeal a decision:
- There were indications of collusion affecting the result of the bout;
- The compilation of the scorecards of the judges disclosed an error which showed that the decision was given to the wrong participant;
- As the result of interpreting the rules in error, the referee rendered an incorrect decision;
- A positive test indicates that a banned drug, substance or method was used.
As of this moment, no evidence of any wrongdoing has been submitted, according to Inside MMA.
"I still want to have faith in the system, so I'm not trying to accuse anyone of collusion even though [Riley] is a hometown kid," Butler said. "I am going with the fact that there has to be a blatant misinterpretation of the rules here."
Salmon, one of the top prospects outside of the UFC, now has to go back to the drawing board following his first career loss. One thing is for sure, he may never want to go to the judges' scorecards ever again.