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Anthony Johnson Loses Appeal; Loss Via Eye-Pokes Will Stand

(Kevin Burns shows off his flawless gouging technique. Photo courtesy of

It’s probably not the way he wanted to make UFC history, but Anthony Johnson has officially become the first fighter to lose a fight in the Octagon via eye-pokes. After being handed an idiotic TKO loss at July’s “Silva vs. Irvin” card against Kevin Burns — who poked Johnson in the eyes multiple times throughout their fight until Rumble collapsed to the mat in agony during the third round — Johnson filed an appeal with the Nevada State Athletic Commission to have the result overturned to a DQ victory, or at least a no-contest. Unfortunately, it was rejected:

“Based on advice from the Nevada Attorney General’s office, the appeal was rejected due to lack of remedy,” Kizer revealed to

Horseshit. Are they saying they have no way of changing results after the fact? That Steve Mazzagatti‘s decisions can never be overruled by a higher authority? Johnson had to undergo laser surgery to repair a detached retina and needed stitches in his eye — it would have been nice for the NSAC to acknowledge that they don’t condone what he had to go through. Still, Johnson has managed to keep a positive attitude through the entire experience. As he told TAGG Radio, “They can keep the loss on my record if they want to because I know I will come back better and stronger next time.”

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Irv- January 21, 2009 at 12:42 am
First of all, your semi retarded. I train with Kevin Burns, and his palm strikes hurt like hell, and he has never struck me in the eye accidentaly or on purpose. Second of all, palm strikes are a legal technique. Mazzagati warned him to close his hand, which wasn't illegal in the first place. The eye gouges were incidental, and the problem has been resolved. Kevin's broken left hand has been fused, and stem celled via our mexican neighbors. He can throw punches with that hand now. Kevin was and is very upset about the result of that fight. He didn't want to win that way, and can hold his own against Johnson with out needing to poke him in the eye. It was an incidental occurance from a fighter with broken hand trying to make the best with an injury that couldn't be dealt with here in the regulations as they are. Even fighters with out broken hands occasionaly poke an eye on accident. Its the cost of fighting with open handed grappling gloves. Kevin and everybody in his camp didn't want to see the fight end the way it did.
Irv- January 21, 2009 at 12:41 am
Also, completely false. This is the one and only fight where it has been an issue and Kevin has had more then a few fights since breaking his hand. Also, it has been dealt with. The bone has been fused via some stem cell help in a foreign culture. Thank George W. that it couldn't be fixed here before this whole incident happened
Bobby Boucher- October 20, 2008 at 3:09 am
Captain Insano shows no mercy...
Butch- October 20, 2008 at 2:15 am
What in the hell are you trashing Burns for? Do you know him personally? I do, you bunch of a$$hole$. HE IS A STANDUP GUY! He really did break his hand you IDIOTS! Wow, I SURE HOPE SOME YOU DOUCHEBAGS FIGHT and you aren't just sitting on the sidelines talking trash when you don't know anything about it!

Don't worry, they are fighting again and BURNS WILL BEAT HIS A$$ HARDCORE!

Yes, sucky call and unfortunate but not Burns' fault!
Freddy C- October 7, 2008 at 8:05 pm
How can Kevin Burns remain employed by the ufc? He's said there's nothing he can do about his left hand. That's just the way he fights, because of multiple breaks. That means it can happen again and again. He can poke a fighter's eye out. He's a dangerous fighter because he constantly pokes eyes. I don't get it.
ugh- September 20, 2008 at 12:59 pm
mazzagatti is a douchebag. he is the worst ref in the game. did you see the fight between forrest and shogun where forrest was pushing off the fence and mazzagatti shoved his hand away and told him not to do it? he overzealously enforces non-rules and rewards rule breaking. he'll repeatedly warn a fighter for things some days and in the very next fight he'l take a point away on the first offense. there are so many mistakes he's made, its impossible to name them all.
ok2bme- September 15, 2008 at 4:42 pm
"but if a NSAC employee meanders by, he’s gettin a shot to the pills."
Making a fist should be part of the prefight medical check. Hopefully Burns will voluntarily retire from MMA or at least choose a sport that doesn't allow strikes.
Anonymous- September 15, 2008 at 4:40 pm
"but if a NSAC employee meanders by, he’s gettin a shot to the pills."
Making a fist should be part of the prefight medical check. Hopefully Burns will voluntarily retire from MMA or at least choose a sport that doesn't allow strikes.
the glza- September 15, 2008 at 1:35 pm
johnson is a great fighter and, as has been said many times before -- a stand-up guy. he deserves to be treated fairly... wtf is wrong with nsac... ufc rules should be changed on this crap -- no wait...

eye-poking is is illegal -- burns shoulda been dq'd

emptyhandkiller- September 15, 2008 at 11:35 am
Rumble is just the type of fighter that the UFC needs. He is exciting, fierce, and talented. Yes, I despise Burns for jabbing with outstretched fingers, but I HATE that complete moron Mazzugatti. He has always been a lousy ref, especially when he has to stand up and make a decision. If I was screaming at my tv when Anthony was fouled, how come Stupid Steve couldn't see it? Despicable performance. Suicide is your best option.
shutupandfight- September 15, 2008 at 12:26 am
dat faggot Burns needs 50 swift kicks to da clit from a quarter horse...fukin ploser.

Craig- September 14, 2008 at 8:23 pm
just look at the photo, a str8 3 stooges move.... rumble shoud be allowed to fight this chump behind the backstop after school.
Craig- September 14, 2008 at 8:22 pm
there is no way Burns should of been let in the ring if his had is SO DAMAGED HE CAN'T MAKE A FIST.....

Mardog- September 14, 2008 at 6:58 pm
I'm pulling the racist card on this one, and I've felt this way from the get go. This would have never happened to, lets say, Chuck Liddell. Steve Mazzagatti, open your eyes you cock eyed bastard!
Xamot- September 14, 2008 at 6:56 pm
and now a new fighting tactic has been created.
gracies suck ass- September 14, 2008 at 6:33 pm
NSAC sucks cock, not intention eye pokes, and Johnson is awesopme for not going off and shitting on everything/everyone involved. I'll cheer for both guys when I see em again, but if a NSAC employee meanders by, he's gettin a shot to the pills.
Joey- September 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm
I don't blame burns for what happened. He was not intentionally trying to poke Johnson in the eye and the fight was pretty close up until then. However, Steve Mazzagatti is a dumb motherfucker and a terrible Ref. This is why they need to bring back Big John! And The UFC and NSAC just showed how incompetent they both are when it comes to some policies.
Dr.- September 14, 2008 at 3:39 pm
I said it before and I'll say it again: KEVIN BURNS IS A PIECE OF SHIT.

Those weren't even close to being palm strikes. Not once did he try to open up the hand so the base of the palm at the wrist was the area making contact. Pure finger pokes all the way. He showed complete disregard for Johnson by continuing (and not trying to change the manner of the strikes) after a few found Johnson's eyeball.

They should give Johnson a chance to beat the shit out of Burns. But I doubt he wants a piece of that fucker.

NSAC is retarded for at least not changing it to a DQ or even a NC.
Clue-by-Four- September 14, 2008 at 3:30 pm
Mazzagatti is a piece of shit and the NSAC should be ashamed at themselves for that garbage ruling.
clyde- September 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm
This is just Bull Shit the UFC should do something about it.. if it wants to show it stands up for there fighters UMMM YAAA .. maybe the fans should boycott some fights or ware some tee shirts to make there point like bring back big John !!
Bill C.- September 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm
Complete and utter crap decision by the NSAC. Johnson should have won by DQ. Maybe if it was just one eyepoke, and he couldn't continue, then a NC could be justified, but the fact that he was poked so many times absolutely requires a DQ. Johnson got robbed, plain and simple.
I have so much respect for the way Rumble handled this. He deserves an immediate rematch.
geoff- September 14, 2008 at 1:54 pm
Wow just wow..i remember watching that fight and i think steve has to be the worst ref in the sport! im glad johnson is keeping his head up through this whole thing, but come on that should have been at least a no-contest.
Anonymous- September 14, 2008 at 1:49 pm
Mazzagoti. Fuck me what a baaaad call. Steve owes him a few beers no doubt.
polish- September 14, 2008 at 1:43 pm
pure bs
Earl- September 14, 2008 at 1:18 pm
The fact that Johnson has kept his cool throughout this whole ordeal speaks volumes about his character. Stand up guy, indeed.