drew dober
Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

The MMA world was on fire concerning the highly controversial ‘submission’ stoppage of Drew Dober at last weekend’s (Sat., March 21, 2015) UFC Fight Night 62 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The story went that referee Eduardo Herdy, who is allegedly a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, thought Dober was passed out in a guillotine choke from opponent Leandro Silva’s half guard, an extremely tough move to finish on a professional fighter (or anyone for that matter).

But Dober did not tap, and was clearly coherent when the fight was stopped. He was also working to advance position to a potentially dominant one, making Herdy’s stoppage quite possibly the worst in MMA history.

UFC President Dana White called it ‘bullsh-t’ and hoped that the Brazilian Athletic Commission MMA (CABMMA) would do the right thing and change the bout’s result, but he wasn’t optimistic that it would actually happen.

The commission confirmed his suspicions by saying that they ‘cannot change the result,’ but today (March 26, 2015) news has come that they must have had a change of heart.

According to a report from MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz, CABMMA released a detailed statement explaining the reasoning behind changing Dober’s loss to a no contest after Herdy fessed up about the error of his ways:

After receiving a detailed technical report from Mr. Eduardo Herdy, referee in charge of the bout mentioned in the case, which in the end clearly states that his stoppage was to preserve the fighter ́s integrity, being that his highest responsibility when it comes to the duty of a referee, he has admitted his professional mistake and is willingly in favor to forgo his authority in the bout.

Due to the factors involved and after receiving Mr. Andrew Dober ́s formal appeal, CABMMA has defined a fourth provision regarding the change of decision after contest or exhibition, which follows below.

“The Executive Committee may, on an exceptional basis, revert a decision to “no contest” if it determines that a good faith judgment call of a referee was mistaken and therefore considered a self-evident error. Such decision may be taken provided (i) an appeal is filed with the commission within 72 hours of the relevant bout, (ii) the appeal is accompanied by a video (or link thereto) of the bout showing the challenged judgment call, (iii) upon request by the Executive Committee, the relevant referee presents a written justification of his judgment call and (iv) after analysis of the relevant video and justification, the Executive Committee determines that the judgment call was in good faith but considered a self-evident error.”

In addition, based on the success of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission and its resource to help prevent similar cases by the usage of instant reply, CABMMA will study the possibilities of using this same resource in future events where promoters have the infrastructure to provide so. New protocols are, as of this moment, being analyzed with the purpose of identifying such palpable errors during the events. It is important to state that Mr. Larry Hazzard, Sr. (Commissioner) has shown CABMMA a new perspective of conducting events in Brazil, creating a safer and fairer environment for MMA.

Regarding Mr. Eduardo Herdy, CABMMA is thankful for his professionalism in recognizing this error, helping the entity evolve in its regulatory affairs in Brazil by seeking the development of higher standards and demonstrating his commitment as an official referee of the sport.

Consequently, after reviewing the case, the Executive Committee presided by Mr. Rafael Favetti (Chairman & CEO) and Mr. Cristiano Sampaio (COO), has decided to overturn the result of Leandro Silva vs. Andrew Dober bout and is officially determining it as a NO CONTEST.

CABMMA has gone against what most people thought they would do in favor of what is right, and it’s refreshing to see Herdy admit his mistakes in a sport where commissions and referees largely stick by each other in the face of even glaring errors.

Now, perhaps it’s time to book a Dober vs. Silva rematch sometime in the near future.

Photo Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports