Anthony Johnson in favor of instant replay in mixed martial arts

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who among other things is known for one of the worst eye poke incidents in MMA history, recently spoke with PRO MMA ( about a number of topics including the recent UFC 99 fight between Mostapha Al-Turk and Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic that ended in a brutal TKO beating after Al-Turk was poked in the eye and was unable to defend himself.

Johnson compared what happened in his “UFC Fight Night 14” fight against Kevin Burns to the Al-Turk incident,

“His poke wasn’t nearly as crazy as mine. I got poked in the eye five times by somebody who said their hand was broke. He was in the middle of the exchanges where he just happened to poke the guy in the eye, and that’s just what happens sometimes. But me, I got poked five times, and there’s no excuse you know?”

Johnson thinks Al-Turk should have been given all the time he needed to recuperate. Of course, that can not happen when the referee did not see it. So what do you do? Johnson has an answer, “I do think in cases like that they need to have a replay or something to show what really happened.”

According to Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer, Johnson just might get his wish by the end of the year. In a recent interview on GoodSports Radio, Kizer stated,

“We’re trying to find out if there’s a way to do limited instant replay… I would think you could see it as early as the end of the year if the commission agrees to make that regulatory change. The proposal will be in front of them this summer. Whether they pass it or not – then it takes time to cautify it – it could be near the end of the year.”

Kizer clarified that the only situations in which instant replay would be used in MMA would most likely be cases exactly like Al-Turk’s and Johnson’s. Both were instances when a potentially illegal blow directly led to the bout being stopped.

By:  Jack Bratcher