Shamrock Texas Athletic Commission Complaint and Legislative Silence

MMAJunkie’s Steven Marrocco obtained a full copy of Ken Shamrock’s Complaint filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation arguing that his loss against Royce Gracie at Bellator 149 should be overturned.

In short the complaint alleges that Gracie struck Shamrock with an illegal low blow which should have resulted in disqualification, or alternatively, that the referee should have given Shamrock time to recover in which case the result should become a no-contest.

Below is the complaint in full –

Screenshot Shamrock Complaint

Overturning a bout result is a seldom seen occurrence in combative sports.  Nevada, and jurisdictions modeled on their rules, only allow a bout result to be overturned in the following three circumstances –

1.  The Commission determines that there was collusion affecting the result of the contest or exhibition;

2.  The compilation of the scorecards of the judges discloses an error which shows that the decision was given to the wrong unarmed combatant; or

3.  As the result of an error in interpreting a provision of this chapter, the referee has rendered an incorrect decision.

New Jersey, and jurisdictions that model the State, allow bout results to be overturned where there is palpable error with the relevant legislation reading ““The Commissioner may in his discretion change a referee’s decision if in his judgment a palpable and self-evident error has been committed“”

The legislation in Texas, however, appears to be silent on if or when a referee decision can be overturned.

Section 61.41(a) of Texas’ Combative Sport Administrative Rules states that “Referees are responsible for enforcing the rules of the bouts and shall exercise immediate authority, direction and control over bouts.”.

Low blows are of course prohibited and this rule seemingly was not enforced.  That said the rules appear silent on if such an oversight allows the TDLR to overturn the bout decision.  Fouls are routinely missed given the fast pace of combative sports and despite this legislative silence it is difficult to imagine the TDLR not wanting to give deference to their official’s in ring call.  Unless the referee is prepared to fall on his sword and admit wrongdoing it is a safe bet the current results will stay intact.  As Morroco reports, the following procedure is now in motion –

According to TDLR spokesperson Susan Stanford, the complaint has been assigned to the TDLR’s enforcement investigator, who will determine whether a violation has occured. If a violation is found, the respondent, in this case referee Montalvo, has 20 days to make a plea of guilty or not guilty. In the case of a not-guilty plea, the matter goes to the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings, which recommends a course of action to the athletic commission. It’s then incumbent on the commission to accept, change or deny the proposal.

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