Maldonado appeals controversial Fedor Emelianenko victory

Fabio Maldonado (left) and Fedor Emelianenko © Mikhail Kireev
Fabio Maldonado's manager has submitted an appeal to the World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) asking for an investigation into the result of his recent fight against Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko.

The news comes despite the Brazilian fighter himself said that he wouldn't appeal the result at the post-fight press conference.

Maldonado was a huge underdog in his first post-UFC fight against the legendary Russian and was judged to have lost the contest by a controversial majority decision.

Stefano Sartori has now asked the WMMAA to appoint an independent judges' commission to investigate the result.

In an email to the WMMAA, Sartori wrote: "We are writing this email to officially appeal about the result of my client’s fight against Fedor Emelianenko on June 17 on the Main Event of Fight Nights 50.

"We watched the tape many times with a cool head and we realized there is no way we lost the fight. It's either a draw or Fabio's victory.

"We won R1 with a clear 10-8, not to mention that everyone else in the world besides the Official Referee would have stopped that fight.

"Fedor was tough and came back to win R2 10-9. The last one is really close and could go either way. So it's either Fabio's victory or a draw.

"We were extremely surprised to have learned that all the judges of the bout were Russian and they all are employed by none other than Fedor Emelianenko who is the president of the Russian MMA Union that sanctioned these judges.

"Even worse, Radmir Gabdullin who was the head judge of the bout is the Russian MMA Union's vice-president. 

"If it is not a clear case of conflict of interest, I don't know what to call this. To have a fair judgement of this fight it is required to have independent international judges and that is what we claim with this official letter.

"Since Mr Gabdullin said to the Russian press that he would refuse to accept our appeal and considering that we feel that Russian judges would be under too much pressure on this case, we have no other choice but to appeal to the World MMA Association that is an umbrella organization with the Russian MMA union being part of it.

"Before finishing I want to say that I truly believe that Russian MMA Judges haven't done anything to intentionally harm my client.

"The conflict of interest, to my eyes, is natural when you judge someone who is personally so close to you. That's why we respectfully ask for another referee team to watch and judge this fight."

WMMAA Secretary General Alexander Engelhardt is responsible for handling the appeal.

Engelhardt will appoint a group of international judges led by experienced referee/judge Marco Broersen to watch the fight again and deliver their verdict.

WMMAA's head judge Radmir Gabdullin has been temporarily suspended from his position pending the outcome of the appeal.

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