UFC Sao Paulo ended up being most notable not for its fights, but for its officiating. A fight between Darren Stewart and Francimar Barroso was initially marked down as a TKO win for Stewart, but changed to a No Contest, after Barroso petitioned the Brazilian Commission (CABMMA) to reexamine the illegal headbutt that foreshadowed the end of the bout. Bouts between Thomas Almedia and Albert Morales, and Ryan Bader and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira seemed to go on well past the point of competitive necessity. And a clear decision win for top strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha was marred by what appeared to be an illegal head kick to her opponent, Cortney Casey, midway through the third round.
It’s that last one that’s getting the most attention. Most notably, because in the time that Casey was recovering from Gadelha’s illegal soccer kick, jumbotron replays of the blow started to put the crowd in doubt that it landed at all. The quick snap with which Gadelha threw the kick – and tried to retract it – along with the angle at which Casey’s head was facing made it incredibly difficult to tell just where or how the kick hit.
That difficulty led the CABMMA to release a statement saying they believed that Casey had essentially flopped. And while Claudia Gadelha was initially nothing but apologetic for her actions, she quickly began reiterating the CABMMA’s stance, claiming the kick didn’t land.
In a recent interview with MMA fighting, Casey revealed that the experience has all been something of a shock, saying that, “Never in a million years did I think that I’d go into Brazil and get as ridiculed as I did for something where I did nothing wrong.”
“I can only imagine what Ronda [Rousey] goes through — like, the ridicule she goes through on a daily basis. It’s pretty pathetic. People that don’t even follow me going on my page just to say some shit, going out of their way. And I’m not even complaining. I’m not petitioning.”
Casey went on to detail the immediate trouble her corner had with the CABMMA following the event, who, from her statements, did little to verify whether or not the kick landed:
“I went into the back, and normally the doctor’s pop over to check you out. Literally my gloves got cut off, the hand wraps got cut off, and the lady said, ‘here you’ve got 30 days if there’s any problem, sign here,’ and she left. That was it. Then I hear outside, as I’m waiting for my paperwork from the UFC to sign that, my check and stuff, I hear Robert and Tiago [Okamura] yelling back and forth in Portuguese to someone. And as I was leaving, they said, ‘she faked it, she faked it.’ The bump on my head was pretty big at that point. So I walked away, and the UFC interviewer was like, what happened?”
Eventually, however, it seems Casey just wants the controversy to die down. She says she’s not asking for the result to be overturned, or that Gadelha should have had a point deducted, and she knows that ‘it’s my word against the media, against everyone. I can only do so much.”
“At the end of the day, I got kicked. I’m not asking for a point deduction, I was never saying that the fight should be overturned, none of that. So I don’t know why everyone is yelling at me, and blaming me, like I’m going out saying all this stuff. I haven’t said anything, other than I got kicked in the head.
“For people to question my character after all that, and then after them knowing that no one else wanted to take this fight against Gadelha, for them to tell me I was trying to get an out? It sucks.”
In the meantime, the loss sends Casey’s record down to 2-3 in the women’s strawweight division and breaks a two–fight win-streak. No word yet on whether or not the UFC plans to look into the incident.
About the author