The Team Alpha Male product will appeal the knockout defeat in the main event of UFC on FOX 28 on Saturday night with the Florida State Boxing Commission, his team informed MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani. Stephens threw what appeared to be an illegal knee and potentially two illegal elbows in the finishing sequence at Orlando’s Amway Center.
In the second round, Stephens landed a massive left hook that dropped Emmett. Stephens pounced, landing a pair of elbows potentially to the back of Emmett’s head. He then followed up by throwing a knee when Emmett was still considered a grounded opponent — on his knees.
The debate is whether or not the knee landed and whether or not the elbows were truly illegal, because Emmett was moving his head as Stephens was throwing. The knee seemed to graze Emmett’s head when Stephens threw it and hit Emmett’s head again on the back swing. Neither shot seemed to do much damage. Stephens threw a punch and a few legal elbows after that to end the fight.
Referee Dan Miragliotta did not stop the action at any point during that stretch due to a potential foul. And the Florida commission does not allow instant replay, so Miragliotta could not review the action thereafter to aid him in his call. A replay would presumably be available to the commission in light of an Emmett appeal.
Emmett (13-2) came into the fight on a two-bout winning streak and a victory over a veteran like Stephens would have propelled him close to a title shot. Stephens (28-14) has now won three straight himself.
If Emmett were to win an appeal, the fight would likely be overturned to a no contest, not a disqualification of Stephens.
Originally appeared on https://www.mmafighting.com/2018/2/25/17049738/josh-emmett-to-appeal-ufc-on-fox-28-loss-to-jeremy-stephens