Welterweight has silver lining to loss to Prater
Call it a consolation prize, but Erick Silva would probably trade the extra bump in pay to have the loss removed from his record.
On a card with more than its fair share of highlight reel moments on Saturday, Silva was involved in UFC 142‘s most controversial moment and left HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro with his first loss in more than five years. The consolation prize is that the UFC isn’t treating it like a loss. Officials from the promotion said Sunday that Silva will be given his win bonus – even though he was disqualified in his fight against fellow Brazilian Carlo Prater on the main card.
After 20 seconds of looking for an opening against Prater, Silva charged and threw a flying knee to the body that buckled his opponent. Silva instantly swarmed, pushed Prater’s head toward the canvas and began raining down hammerfists to his head. Though replays showed two of them may have strayed away from the sides of Prater’s head, most appeared to be legal shots. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight after just 29 seconds, and it appeared Silva had another quick TKO victory after a 40-second stoppage in his UFC debut in August.
But instead, Yamasaki disqualified Silva for what he said were illegal strikes to the back of the head, stunning the crowd, Silva and, on the pay-per-view broadcast, commentator Joe Rogan, who questioned Yamasaki for the call.
“I was telling him, ‘Don’t hit the back of the head – don’t hit the back of the head,'” Yamasaki said. “I have to decide right here, right now. He hit some in the back of the head, and some not in the back of the head. But I have to decide right there and then. There’s nothing I can do.”
Silva, though disappointed in the decision, didn’t respond with much criticism of Yamasaki’s call.
“I have great respect for the referee,” Silva told Rogan through a translator. “And I see that most of them hit the side of the head. I don’t see any that hit the back of the head. I apologize if I didn’t present myself correctly, but I’m going to leave here with a feeling of victory tonight.”
Though there was no official comment on Yamasaki’s decision, the UFC at least seemed to disagree with the disqualification by paying Silva his win bonus. And it would seem, in theory, that the UFC could overturn the loss on his record to a no contest since it does its own commission-related work for out-of-country events like Saturday’s. There is no word yet on whether that is likely to happen.
Prater, after the fight, said he was unsure of the legality of the blows, but experienced a new sensation when they were landing.
“I’m not a judge. I didn’t stop the fight,” Prater said. “All I know is that he hit me and it sent a shock of pain through my body unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I don’t know if the shots were legal. I just know it was unlike anything I’ve ever felt.”
Silva (13-2, 1 NC, 1-1 UFC) said after leaving the Octagon that if the strikes were illegal, they were at least accidental.
“Everyone here knows that wasn’t intentional,” Silva said. “I don’t know what else to say.”
Most fight fans seemed to know what to say, though, and there was plenty of outcry on social media sites like Twitter claiming Silva had been robbed of a victory. At one point Monday morning, Silva’s Wikipedia entry had a loss to Prater in his database, and under the method of the outcome it said, simply, “DQ (ask Yamasaki).”