Scott Smith vs. Benji Radach. Photo by Tom Casino/Strikeforce.
Here’s something you don’t see everyday. Well actually you kinda do. It happened recently when Shane Nelson picked up a surprisingly quick TKO win over Aaron Riley at UFC 96 after knocking Riley down and having the referee stop the fight prematurely. Happens all the time unfortunately and some fighters choose to protest the decision.
Remember Scott Smith’s come-from-behind Strikeforce win over Benji Radach last month? Hell of a fight, but another questionable stoppage, at least in Radach’s eyes. But what makes his decision to appeal his recent loss interesting is the fact that he’s claiming he should have never even been knocked out in the first place:
Radach’s appeal is not quite official yet; he says he and his managers are putting together the official paperwork and plan to file it soon. In the submitted documents, Radach will point to several mistakes he feels referee Herb Dean made.
He had a second-round guillotine he cinched up tight on Smith, and says he felt Hands of Steel grab the cage to help him ease out of Radach’s grip. Radach says he even heard Dean say something to Smith about grabbing the fence. “If Scott hadn’t gotten ahold of the cage—which is blatantly against the rules—I think I would have finished him there,” Radach says.
Radach also stated that the “blow that finished the fight”, a final right hand while Radach was already on the floor courtesy of a bomb from Smith, was illegal because it hit the back of his head. The video proves that he has a point, but also shows Dean running in to stop the fight at the same time.
So does Radach have a case here? Not really in my opinion. After rewatching the fight this afternoon, Smith grabbing the cage has very little to do with him scoring a takedown. It’s the majority of Radach’s balance leaning backwards into the guillotine that causes him to hit the mat. Also, while Smith may have struck Radach in the back of the head after knocking him down, Dean will likely state that Radach wasn’t intelligently defending himself and the bout was going to be stopped regardless.