UFC featherweight Cole Miller is crying foul over the way his match-up with Manny Gamburyan at UFC Fight Night 26 was handled. As fans undoubtedly remember, Miller landed two stiff elbows to the side of Gamburyan’s head as the opening round of their preliminary card clash was concluding. The strikes left Gamburyan dazed to the point he was unable to stand, grabbing the back of his head while waiting for officials to intervene.
Gamburyan was checked on and eventually made it back to his corner, albeit in a still-shaken state. And, again, prior to the second stanza starting he was given attention from a ringside physician to ensure he was able to continue competing. The entire process took around two minutes and, in Miller’s mind, receiving additional time to recover from legal blows isn’t acceptable in the Octagon.
“It was just real odd. The referee didn’t give any indication the fight was over, he also didn’t signal it was a foul. I looked at Manny and then the ref to see what was going on. I had my hand on Manny in a sportsmanlike way to sort of encourage the process and get things moving,” said Miller to FOX Sports, confirming he planned to file an appeal with the athletic commission.
“A referee doesn’t have to say if a strike is legal, a referee has to say if a strike was illegal. No indication was made, but after the fight, the strike was deemed legal. The referee said it was a legal strike. To me, I’ve seen the footage and they all seem to indicate a legal strike,” he stressed. “I just know that fighters can’t get two minutes between rounds because they can’t answer the bell when their head hurts due to a legal strike. That’s not the way the rules work. I can only hope that they see it my way and declare it a no contest.”
Miller went on to lose a Unanimous Decision to Gamburyan. The defeat dropped his record to 19-8 and was his third in four fights.