(He was so young and so in possession of two properly functioning eyes once.)
While we were busy speculating wildly about what might happen if Mostapha Al-Turk really does file an appeal with the UFC over his loss via eye-poke at UFC 99 in Germany, Robert Joyner at MMA Payout went ahead and looked at what the standard Zuffa contract has to say about a situation like this. What a show-off that guy is. Anyway, here’s what he found:
Any and all Bouts that occur in a jurisdiction or country without an Athletic Commission shall be conducted pursuant to the statutes, rules and regulations of the State of Nevada in effect at the time of the Bout, including, but not limited to, the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts (the “Nevada Rules”); for the protection of the health and safety of the Fighter, to promote fairness in the administration of the Bout, and to preserve the integrity of the sport of mixed martial arts. In its sole discretion, ZUFFA may utilize the Nevada Rules in the oversight of any Bouts that occur under this Subsection 4.7. Fighter may appeal any advisory opinion by ZUFFA regarding any violations of the Nevada Rules relating only to Bouts that occur in a jurisdiction or country without an official government mandated Athletic Commission to an independent third-party arbitrator or arbitration panel selected pursuant to the guidelines developed by the American Arbitration Association. All costs and fees associated with an appeal taken pursuant to this Section shall be the exclusive responsibility of the Fighter. Regardless of where a Bout occurs, in no event shall a Fighter have any right to appeal a decision by ZUFFA relating to the UFC Title or the UFC Championship belts.
Wow, that was a lot of stuff. Because I’m assuming you didn’t read it all but instead skimmed it much like you skimmed “The Sun Also Rises” in high school (spoiler alert: they get drunk the whole time and watch some bull fights), I’ll do my best to sum up.
Basically, when you fight in a lawless place with no athletic commission, such as Germany, the UFC goes by “Nevada Rules,” which are at least better than “California Rules,” where everyone is assumed to be on steroids until proven innocent. If you feel like some violation of the “Nevada Rules” occurred, like maybe Cro Cop put his dirty fingers all up in your eye and the UFC didn’t do anything about it when you appealed to them, then you can take your appeal to an “independent third-party arbitrator or arbitration panel.” Unless it was a title fight, in which case you should just shut the hell up.
But the kicker is that even if you do exercise your right to appeal to a third-party arbitrator, you have to pay for all the costs associated with it. If you’re making Mostapha Al-Turk kind of money, that might be reason to think twice. You don’t want to blow your whole purse trying to appeal an eye-poke incident that, at best, might get the result changed to a ‘No Contest’ and at worst might waste your time and money while at the same time getting the UFC pissed off at you.
A guy with two losses in two UFC fights, yeah, he probably doesn’t want to go that route. Not unless he is independently wealthy and values fairness and justice more than continued employment.