Chas Skelly saw an early end to his night at UFC Denver, as the ref waved off his fight with Bobby Moffett, believing Skelly had gone out to a D’arce choke.
UFC Denver — Needless to say, UFC Denver did not go as Chas Skelly had planned. The UFC’s 25th anniversary show, Skelly faced Bobby Moffett on the preliminary card. He had control for a good portion of the first round, but in the second, found himself caught in a D’arce choke. After some time, the ref waved off the fight, believing Skelly had gone out. Skelly immediately protested.
He displayed his disappointment and irritation, to say the least, with reporters back stage following the event, with Cageside Press in attendance. “I really wanted this to be a tough hard fight, and for it to end the way that it did is sad,” Skelly said. “I’m sure I’ll go through the steps to appeal it first thing in the morning.”
Not wishing to take anything away from his opponent, Skelly allowed that “I think he fought a great fight, I think he’s improved a lot, his striking has improved a lot, and he’s a tough fighter. So I don’t want to take anything away from the guy.”
“He came out and fought a tough fight, and I had his back the whole first round,” Skelly said, “and to be able to defend when I have your back, you’re pretty good at defending your back, because I can choke anything from there.”
Despite that, Skelly told reporters that “I will say, I wasn’t out, I wasn’t close to being out.” Admitting that it was tight initially, he explained that when “my arm was across, it was very tight. When I got my arm out and I extended, that took a lot of the pressure off. And I was relaxing.”
“If a guy’s got a D’arce like that, and he’s burning his arms out, the guy was squeezing for probably a straight minute. His arms, by the time that the ref pulled him off me, he was about to let go” he continued. “It wasn’t tight anymore. He had already let go of half of his squeeze, so I relaxed.”
Skelly did admit he sees what they’re saying in regards to him going limp, given he was relaxing, but he doesn’t agree with the interpretation. Nor another aspect of the call. The ref “said that he saw my eyes flutter. Is what he said.”
“This isn’t something where I come in and I fight and I make my whole check regardless of what happens. If he f*cks up, I lose half my check.”
“I don’t need to watch the replay,” Skelly answered when asked if he’d reviewed the call. “I said ‘there’s no f*cking way my eyes fluttered, because I wasn’t in any way, shape or form out. I remeber the whole thing, I remember exactly what happened, I know exactly what was going through my mind. I was defending it perfect.”
Asked what the ref said to him after, when Skelly questioned the call, Skelly recalled the ref saying “I’m sorry, I thought you were out.” His response, “‘yeah you should be f*cking sorry, that’s half my check.’ This isn’t something where I come in and I fight and I make my whole check regardless of what happens. If he f*cks up, I lose half my check.” Not a good result, as Skelly revealed he just barely paid for his camp for UFC Denver.
In terms of fighting Bobby Moffett again, “I’d love to run it back,” Skelly said, but understands that Moffett is young in his career, and may wish to move on. “I would think that if they called it a No Contest, he would want to, if they don’t call it a No Contest, I don’t think he would want to, and I don’t blame him. But do I want to? Absolutely.”
“If you’ve got a bunch of f*cking dumb*sses sitting around the camera that can’t overturn something that’s already happened, what’s the point?” Skelly explained when asked if he thought a proper instant replay system could have avoided the issue. Though he’d later apologize, admitting he didn’t know who was handling the replay at UFC Denver. That said, point taken. For now, all Skelly can do is appeal.