MMA heavyweight Matt Mitrione accuses referee of ‘conflict of interest’ when he went against Travis Browne

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MMA Matt Mitrione

It was announced that Matt Mitrione lost to Travis Browne by TKO last January. However, events during the said MMA fight sparked a lot of speculations if Browne did win his way through a fair and clean fight. Referee Forman had called off the fight less than a minute before the third round bell sounded. Unfortunately, this was the last fight Mitrione had to surpass before his contract with the UFC ended.

In a previous interview, Mitrione revealed that the said bout should’ve been called off regardless of whether he wanted to still continue the fight or not. He was actually not sure about the possibility of getting an appeal regarding the decision since he’s not sure if it would affect the official result.

However, the complaint filed shows the opposite of what he previously claimed.

Mitrione gave a detailed explanation as to why he thinks Forman had a conflict of interest during the MMA fight; he started by explaining the timeout during the first round where Browne’s fingers landed on his eye the first time. Mitrione claimed that the stoppage had given Browne additional coaching when he was asked to a go to a neutral corner of the cage.

Aside from this, Mitrione said that Forman also failed to let the commission know of the said incident. Mitrione also claims that the eye-poke was not accidental.

MMA Matt Mitrione“Mitrione was about to strike Browne with an undefended right hook to the head following a straight left lead. As a result of Browne’s position in reaction to Mitrione’s fair combination of strikes, Browne was able to defend being struck by Mitrione’s legal attack only by employing the illegal blow. Accordingly, the foul should have been judged intentional and Browne should have been disqualified. The Referee committed an inexplicable error by failing to call time out, by failing to assess the foul from the second illegal blow at the earliest opportunity, and by failing to disqualify Browne. Browne then sought to exploit his illegal blow (and the referee’s compounding errors) by pressing the fight harder and by attempting to finish the fight while Mitrione was injured from the foul and attempting to recover,” the complaint states.

John Fosco, who is Browne’s representative, didn’t respond to a request for a comment on Mitrione’s allegations right away.

Mitrione continued by stating that Forman “knowingly endangered” him “by improperly forcing him to fight for an additional 33 seconds while obviously injured and compromised.” In fact, Mitrione said that the third round is so unfair that the entire round should be removed from the record.

“Round (three) did not occur during properly sanctioned competition. Round (three) thus became an exhibition (of incompetence) and not a competition as provided by the rules. We also find it unusual that Referee Forman began following both Browne and Mitrione’s social media on January 17, 2016. Would it be proper for a circuit court judge to send a ‘friend request’ to a lawyer that was to appear before him later that day? Is this similar action by Forman consistent with being an unbiased referee? In light of multiple and compounding errors committed by the referee and other licensees and officials, it is impossible to conclude that the MMA contest between Mitrione and Browne at UFC UFN 81 was conducted fairly. We hereby appeal the decision of this contest and request that the Commission overturn the decision and declare Mitrione the winner by disqualifying Browne. Alternatively, the bout must be declared a ‘no contest.’ We also urge the Commission to protect the integrity of future MMA events and use its best efforts to ensure fighter safety by disciplining Referee Forman,” the complaint further stated.

The MSAC has responded to Mitrione’s complaint and confirmed that the MMA fight will be reviewed by the commission.

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