(You won, Dude! Oh, wait…)
So it took almost a month, but the verdict is now in for the December 31st bout between Yoshihiro Akiyama and Kazuo Misaki. The fight was at the New Year’s Eve Yarennoka event which ended with Akiyama being knocked out by a kick to the face from Misaki as Yoshihiro was trying to get to his feet. After the fight, Lady Controversy reared her head as to whether the kick was legal or not.
After Akiyama submitted a formal protest, the Yarennoka executive committee – headed by Keiichi Sasahara – reviewed the fight. After the review, a “no contest” was entered and Misaki’s win was erased from the records.
Sherdog has a bit about the rules:
Yarennoka rules director Yuji Shimada said that before the event, officials explained that Yarennoka was different from PRIDE and would have new rules. Fighters were warned about illegal maneuvers, and the officiating committee stressed that it would likely err on the side of caution, perceiving any gray area as illegal.
With these provisions in mind, Shimada said that the Yarennoka committee stated that according to its rules, Akiyama was in a four-point position, and therefore Misaki’s strike that ended the bout was illegal.
Shimada further explained that while the committee overturned the in-ring call of referee Daisuke Noguchi, there were no plans to reprimand the official due to the difficult nature of making such a call in the ring.
So condolences to Misaki and congrats to Akiyama are in order. And a slap on the hand is deserved for referee Noguchi from the best – Big John McCarthy. And once again, the call for universal rules in MMA can be heard echoing throughout arenas worldwide.