Bo Nickal’s UFC debut at UFC 285 was extremely impressive … if you ignore the pretty obvious low blow Bo landed moments before he took Jamie Pickett down and submitted him (watch the highlights here).
Fortunately for Nickal, that seems to be what everyone in power is doing: they’re ignoring it. The ref on the night of the fight ignored it. The UFC went ahead and awarded Bo Nickal a $50,000 Performance of the Night afterward. And now the Nevada Athletic Commission is saying there’s no indisputable proof that Nickal kneed Pickett in the groin.
In a statement released to MMA Fighting, Executive Director Jeff Mullen wrote that the NAC “did not find indisputable video evidence that showed the knee strike hit the groin from the video angles we were provided. The review official cannot overturn the in-cage referees decision without indisputable video evidence.”
That’s pretty funny, because even from the few grainy clips left on Twitter of the Nickal-Pickett Groingate incident, it looks pretty indisputable.
Higher resolution video here. We’d embed some better footage but it’s all been disabled in response to copyright reports from the UFC.
Immediately after the fight, Pickett’s representative LaMont Chappell said he’d be filing an appeal. Now they’re not so sure, and we get that … because why waste the effort? Athletic commissions are unresponsive at the best of times, and it’s even worse when they preemptively respond by saying there’s no indisputable video evidence of a thing that clearly happened.
In an interview with Middle Easy, Pickett explained his thoughts on the incident.
“I don’t think he did it on purpose,” Pickett said. “I can tell he didn’t notice it, he hasn’t been fighting long enough. But brother I’ve been held up against the cage in every fight I’ve ever had, I’ve been kneed in the thigh and in top of the knee, in the stomach, in the damn head. I’ve been kneed everywhere, I haven’t complained and I and I stayed right there.”
“When he kneed me in the balls, straight up the middle, I mean it’s it’s on camera. How can you say you didn’t do something, it’s right there, brother! It’s on camera. And I it felt like I like a warm hot feeling going up my stomach, and I was really pissed the whole time, I I almost didn’t really fight back at first because I was so pissed off, thinking the referee was gonna stop it and he didn’t. I was more irritated with the ref, I wasn’t mad at Bo.”
“Football players and NBA basketball players get instant replay and all that stuff,” Pickett said later in the interview. “I thought we did too but apparently we don’t. No one even looked at it, so … no one responded. [The commissioner] said he would and then he walked off, he’s like ‘We are, we are, we are,’ and then I never saw him talking to anybody.”
“I just kind of felt like no one gave a damn about me or what I was doing,” Pickett concluded. “They just wanted him to look good and you know he’s bringing the money, and I mean, I ain’t hating on nobody, I get it, you know, I’m expendable, he’s not, it is what it is. But I wish I could have capitalized the way I wanted to. But hey, I don’t want nothing bad for the guy.”