James McSweeney to Appeal TUF 11 Finale LossPosted on June 25, 2010, 12:25 AM by Joey Santosus
James McSweeney will look to overturn his loss to Travis Browne at the The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale this past Saturday night by appealing to the Nevada state athletic commission. The central point of contention is the belief that illegal elbows influenced the outcome of the bout.
According to MMAFighting.com, McSweeney's manager Lex McMahon has confirmed plans to file a formal request, stating "James was doing very well in the fight until he got hit with a totally legal and fair shot by Travis that put him down," McMahon said. "Once Travis got on top of him, he landed several blows that were elbows to the back of the head -- well beyond what the referee came and told us was the acceptable zone, which was anything that was two knuckles past the ear."
In what was the TUF 10 cast member's first fight since December, Sweeney lost by referee stoppage at 4:32 of the first round after failing to respond to a barrage of punches unleashed by UFC newcomer Travis Browne.
McMahon explained the decision to appeal was based on McSweeney's right to an accurate record and says that photographic evidence will be presented in attempt to prove several elbows were in fact misplaced and illegal.
"Those blows that Travis landed, while I certainly don't think they were intentional, certainly were illegal," McMahon said. "We took a photograph of the laceration on the back of James' head and that showed there's no way -- and the doctor that examined James after the fight said, 'This is clearly in an area that is illegal.' So we took a photo of it, went back and watched the film again this morning and coupled with what his corner was telling us, we just felt the right decision was to go ahead and put the record straight. James was defending himself well while he was on the ground, but the illegal elbows changed the course of the fight."
While a fight being overturned is a rarity, it is not unheard of. It has happened in the past, but referees are permitted to make their own assessment, which will make this an uphill battle. However, McMahon doesn't seem discouraged and feels that at the very least, the appeal will shed light on the effect those elbows may have had on his client's fight.
"We initiated the process after the fight and we'll be following up with it today. We respect the process and accept the outcome of that process, but we have let everybody know what our position is. I just think any fighter, not just James, should have an accurate record, and an illegal blow is an illegal blow. I just think that it's just a shame if an illegal blow had such an impact on the final outcome of the fight. If nothing more, we want people to be aware of the issue."
As far as McSweeney's future, McMahon says he has not been given any indication that his client may be released following the loss and cites UFC 120 as a hopeful return date for the heavyweight, as the Oct. 16th event will be the UFC's next trip to the UK.