Easton’s win over Beebe has been changed to a "no decision" by the state’s overseeing agency, the Virginia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Program. The bout will be recorded as a "no decision" until the commission completes an investigation that may lead to the outcome being changed to a no contest, said David Holland, the program’s executive director.
"I know the decision will not be reversed; the best we can hope for is a no contest, in order to be fair to both individuals," Holland said. "This didn’t start with anyone writing a letter or complaint to the department regarding the outcome of that fight. This was started by myself at 7 a.m. on Monday morning. The first thing I did that morning when I walked into that office is ask to take the steps to do the fair thing."
Backlash has been palpable after commission-appointed judges Brian Costello and Brian Cunningham turned in score cards giving Easton the fight, one by a 48-46 score and one by a 49-46 score. Beebe clearly controlled the fight in the last three rounds by hitting takedowns and holding back mount, with Easton offering very little offense.
Easton’s trainer, Lloyd Irvin, had not returned a Sherdog.com request for comment as of late Thursday afternoon.
Holland said his office is awaiting a videotape of the fight that an advisory board wants to review before a final decision is made on the bout. Holland said he and two supervisors from the state’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation will make the final decision; unlike Nevada and California, Virignia does not have a five-member athletic commission who makes such decisions.
Saturday night’s loss cost Beebe a $6,000 win bonus, according to his manager Monte Cox.
And, of course, the commission has suffered serious damage to their reputation, although it is good to see the wheels are in motion to rectify matters:
Holland said he is arranging to have veteran MMA official "Big" John McCarthy come to Virginia to meet with his judges and review the sport’s scoring criteria.
"There will be other additional training to find out why certain things happened and how we would expect a change in those procedures," he said.
Holland, who met with judges after Saturday night’s card, declined to specify how Costello and Cunningham explained their decisions. Judges are barred by commission policy from discussing their reasoning publicly, he said. Their scorecards were turned over to Beebe’s corner for examination.
I hope Costello and Cunningham eventually have the opportunity to share their reasoning on why they completely botched the job.
Until then, we must remind ourselves this is not about hurting Mike Easton or helping Chase Beebe. This about properly legislating, regulating and administering MMA. The fighters who compete professionally deserve nothing less than our strictest standards and truthful feedback. This is the beginning of the process for both Easton and Beebe.
The UWC put out a statement prior to the commission's decision to change the result of the contest, but I'm posting the press release in full after the jump.
UPDATE: Sports Illustrated's Josh Gross says Holland "misspoke" and that while there is an internal investigation underway, there is no regulation that allows for a temporary change in the status of a fight. Stay tuned.
UWC SPEAKS OUT REGARDING CONTROVERSIAL EASTON / BEEBE DECISION AT UWC REDEMPTION
Statement by S. Marcello Foran, CEO of Ultimate Warrior Sports Development
The UWC's mission has always been to put on the highest level of professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) shows and help grow the sport by producing exciting, competitive fights featuring established veterans and rising stars. We rely on the state's official sanctioning organization, in the case of Saturday night's fight at the Patriot Center it was the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (VDPOR), to provide for the safety and integrity of the fighters and sport by adhering to MMA's unified rules and regulations.
We want fans, media and observers to be aware that the UWC has absolutely no control over the selection of judges and the decisions rendered for each fight by them during the event; that responsibility rests with the sanctioning body. Our organization put together, what we believe was the UWC's best fight card to date, and that our fans in attendance and watching around the world on UWC Pay-Per-View at http://www.uwcmma.com would agree. To be clear, the UWC and all associated parties held absolutely no ill will towards Chase Beebe in relation to pulling out of the originally-scheduled Bantamweight Championship Title fight he was under contract for several months ago. We were as anxious as our fans to see these two warriors collide inside the cage.
As many of you have communicated the night of and after the show to us, we too are passionate about the sport and demand that all contests be judged fairly for the sake of everyone involved in the sport. It is critical for us to do everything in our power to ensure that the bouts we promote are judged fairly and legitimately by the sanctioning body. As such, we are in communication with the VDPOR and hope to receive a statement from them in the immediate future regarding this situation.
The UWC looks forward to continuing its role as a positive and productive part of MMA and providing all our fans around the world with many more exciting nights of MMA action.
The complete show and fight card is available now at http://www.UWCMMA.com VOD – Video On Demand. We encourage everyone to watch this fight and the rest of what was an amazing night of MMA action. We look forward to your thoughts, comments, and input.