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UFC fighter refusing to fight in Texas, claims ‘commission is f—ked’

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After some close decision losses one fighter says he is ‘boycotting’ the Lone Star state.

UFC Fight Night: Steven Peterson v Brandon Davis
Steven Peterson when he faced Brandon Davis in Austin, TX in 2018.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Steven Peterson first entered the UFC Octagon in 2017 in a split decision loss to Benito Lopez on the first season of Dana White’s Contender Series. After that loss he rebounded with a win in LFA and was then signed to the UFC proper.

Since then Peterson has fought five times under the big lights of the UFC. The Californian, who fights out of McKinney, TX, has a 2-3 record over that time. However, the way he tells it, things would be different if he hadn’t fought any of those bouts in the Lone Star State.

Recently he appeared on the podcast MMA Island where he discussed his issues with Texas’ MMA commissioning body—the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

“The Texas commission is f*cked, man,” charged Peterson (ht MMA Junkie).

“I’ll gladly attend and hopefully corner some of our guys, but I will not be fighting in Texas any time soon,” he explained. “I am boycotting the Texas commission.”

“I have nine losses in my career, five of which I would highly contest, sit with you, watch the tape and argue with you how I won the fight. Those decisions were all lost in Texas.”

Peterson’s most recent loss was to Alex Caceres at UFC on ESPN 4 in 2019. Caceres won by unanimous decision. The fight was held at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

“I thought I won that fight, hands down,” said Peterson.

According to MMA Decisions seven media members gave Caceres scores of 29-28 for the contest and seven media members awarded Peterson scores of 29-28.

Two of the fight’s judges, Ruben Carrion and Gino Garcia, gave Caceres a 29-28 scorecard. However judge Jennie Cardenas had Caceres winning every round, awarding him a 30-27 scorecard.

Peterson’s other losses in Texas include a unanimous decision defeat to Brandon Davis in his UFC debut, a unanimous decision loss in a LFA bantamweight champion fight versus Leandro Higo, a pair of bouts in Legacy FC (one by TKO and one by split decision), a split decision loss at Bellator 63 and a loss at Xtreme Knockout way back in 2010.

Peterson isn’t alone in criticizing the Texas commission. After last year’s UFC 247, at Houston’s Toyota Center, Dana White told reporters that the commission lacks experience and knowledge of the sport. White’s critique was prompted by scores from the headlining Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes fight, which included a 49-46 score for Jones despite many observers (including the other two judges) scoring at least two rounds for Reyes.

“I’m not going to put myself in the line of fire if I don’t have to,” Peterson said, based off his own experiences in his home state. “So I’ll be sitting out any Texas shows, and hopefully something changes with the commission and we get things worked out over here.”