Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Complaint alleges round ended early
By Josh Gross ESPN.com
A Michigan state agency has filed a complaint against a timekeeper, alleging he mishandled the clock at the end of a round during a UFC fight between middleweights Maiquel Falcao and Gerald Harris last year.
Stephen George Daher, a licensed timekeeper under Michigan's Unarmed Combat Commission -- formerly the state's boxing commission -- was named in a complaint brought by the Bureau of Commercial Services, a part of the state Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth.
The complaint alleges Daher failed to ensure the Falcao-Harris fight "was terminated in accordance with the official contest clock" at UFC 123 on Nov. 20 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. ESPN.com obtained the complaint on Tuesday following a Freedom of Information Act request.
The violation occurred at the end of the first round, according to the complaint, when Falcao appeared near completion of a choke that could have finished Harris. When Daher allegedly called an end to the round, approximately six seconds remained on the clock.
Falcao won by unanimous decision and Harris was subsequently released from his UFC contract.
The state commission will determine whether or not to take disciplinary action against Daher after the complaint advances through the contested case hearing process, where he will have the opportunity to defend the allegations.
Daher has 15 days to reply to the formal complaint, dated Jan. 13, by opting for a compliance/settlement conference or a formal administrative hearing. A conference could be scheduled in as little as two weeks, while it would take six weeks to appoint an adminstrative judge for a formal hearing.
The commission will then decide upon a penalty that could include a fine, a suspension or revocation of license.
Since it began regulating mixed martial arts in 2010, this is the first case in which the state commission has dealt with a timekeeping issue.
Josh Gross covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.