Black Belt Magazine has a storied history that dates back all the way to 1961, making 2021 the 60th Anniversary of the world's leading magazine of martial arts. To celebrate six decades of legendary martial arts coverage, take a trip down memory lane by scrolling through some of the most influential covers ever published. From the creators of martial art styles, to karate tournament heroes, to superstars on the silver screen, and everything in between, the iconic covers of Black Belt Magazine act as a time capsule for so many important moments and figures in martial arts history. Keep reading to view the full list of these classic issues.
The First Cover - 1961
This is where it all began. This 34-page first issue contained feature articles about kendo, aikido, and the AAU National Judo Championships. Legends like Jigoro Kano, Ed Parker, and Koichi Tohei are all mentioned. The first page even explains where Black Belt got its name!
Tak Kubota - September 1965
The September 1965 issue had some international flavor, with articles featuring karate practiced "The Tokyo Way" by Tak Kubota and a piece titled Judo in Yugoslavia. There is also a write-up about the All-Japan Judo Championships and a story on the Judo icon Wally Jay.
1st Chuck Norris - June 1967
Black Belt tried out a hand-painted art style for many of the covers in 1967. This cover was the first to feature Chuck Norris after he narrowly defeated Joe Lewis at S. Henry Cho's North American Karate Championship. The final score was 27.5 to 25.5.
1st Joe Lewis - September 1967
Joe Lewis would avenge his loss to Norris earlier in the year by winning Jhoon Rhee's U.S. Karate Championships with Bruce Lee in attendance. The feature article tells how Lewis defeated John Wooley in the finals in front of 8,000 fans in Washington, D.C.
1st Bruce Lee - October 1967
The first issue featuring Bruce Lee on the cover had to be one of Black Belt's most iconic issues. Action fans everywhere were tuning into The Green Hornet and "Kato" was a superstar. Also, the results of a survey showed that karate was gaining popularity over judo in the U.S.
1st Fumio Demura - December 1967
Young kobudo master Fumio Demura shared the secrets of the sai in a feature article that included photograph tutorials of various grips and techniques. A four-year judo university called "Yudo College" in Korea was also featured in this issue.
Capoeira - June 1969
In this issue, Capoeira was described as an art that captured Brazil's history and culture. Another sign of the times, a study was published suggesting that karate can be learned from films for the first time. Pat Johnson described films as the "finest single aid to karate training".
Jhoon Rhee - July 1970
The cover article of this issue featured the legendary Jhoon Rhee, who was deemed the "Father of U.S. Tae Kwon Do" in the story. The Bornean Dyak tradition of Kenjah was also featured, which prepared boys for murder in a bloody ritual that was required for manhood.
Gene LeBell - August 1971
In the first issue featuring Gene LeBell on the cover, he compares judo and its limitations to professional wrestling. Another feature article provides self-defense information from law enforcement advisors after recent increases in violent crime were observed.
Kung Fu TV Series - January 1973
David Carradine was prominently featured in the cover piece about the Kung Fu television series. Black Belt also claimed that Japan's reign on Olympic judo had ended, as Dutchman Willem Ruska took two gold medals and the Russians won four total medals (one gold).
Bob Wall - January 1974
In this issue, Bob Wall of Enter the Dragon tells all about how mastering pain helped him achieve success in competition, business, and acting. Black Belt also sponsored the "First Oriental Fighting Arts Expo" with 35 martial artists performing for over 10,000 fans.
Ed Parker - February 1975
The Father of American Kenpo is prominently featured in a piece titled And in the Beginning There was Ed Parker. There is also a forward-thinking article about informing the media of martial arts in order to grow participation in martial arts schools and tournaments.
Bill Wallace - April 1975
"Superfoot" gets his own Black Belt cover and discusses his fighting career. He said that he liked the then-new innovation of safety gear because he can "really hit the guy". Successful martial arts businesswomen Pauline Short, Julie Webb, and Py Bateman were also featured.
Dan Ivan - September 1976
Southern California karate pioneer Dan Ivan gets a a cover article about his career in this issue. The magazine also contains advertisements for Jhoon Rhee's Safe-T gear and Braschi protective equipment as endorsed by Chuck Norris, early competitors in martial arts supply.
Chuck Norris - December 1977
Chuck Norris finds himself on the cover of another issue and is famously quoted in the feature article stating, "I would really like to become a white Bruce Lee". The issue also shares a photograph tutorial for elbow techniques designed to defend women against rape.
C.S. Kim - March 1979
Tang Soo Do gets a national spotlight as C.S. Kim graces the cover of this issue. Century Martial Arts had their classic Kickin' Jeans advertisement featured. The art of Chi Kung is also prominently featured in the piece Harnessing Internal Powers with Chi Kung.
Joo Bang Lee - May 1981
Joo Bang Lee shares his knowledge of Hwarangdo and how it can be used for knife defense in his cover piece. There is also a write up about Mas Oyama's 2nd World Karate Tournament, where overtime bareknuckle matches were determined by breaking competitions.
William Cheung - April 1983
A four-part feature series about William Cheung concluded in this issue as he was pictured on the cover. The issue also contains an exclusive interview with Hirokazu Kanazawa, who was one of the premier instructors in the Japan Karate Association.
Ninjamania - December 1984
The ninjutsu craze earned Ninjamania the cover, but this issue included other big stories like Chuck Norris reflecting on his toughest opponents and the U.S. Olympic Judo team making history by winning their first-ever silver medal.
Benny "The Jet" Urquidez - March 1985
Benny "The Jet" Urquidez lands on his first Black Belt cover in this issue and stresses the importance of striking to the legs when fighting. There was also a special update piece on previous Hall of Famers, such as Ed parker, Joe Lewis, Jeff Smith, Ark Wong, and more.
Thai Kickboxing - November 1986
Thai boxing gets some notable American press in this issue, and Jhoon Rhee is featured again for teaching multiple United States congressmen. Fumio Demura is also pictured in the issue breaking glass for an article titled Hand Strikes of Karate.
Masaaki Hatsumi - January 1987
Masaaki Hatsumi continues the 80's ninja craze on the cover of this issue. The WUKO World Championships were also covered, where American superstar Hakim Alston defeated an opponent in under 22 seconds. This prompted a drug screening that he passed without issue.
Mike Swain - October 1988
Judo legend Mike Swain gets the cover in October of '88 as the United States Olympic Judo Team gets a spotlight for all of their members. The U.S. Taekwondo team was also given a feature, recognizing notable athletes like Jimmy Kim and Arlene Limas.
Hee Il Cho - March 1990
Taekwondo Master Hee Il Cho shared his art's amazing jumping kicks for this cover. Various martial arts weapons also received a spotlight in articles about lesser-known Samurai weapons like the sickle and chain, as well as a Kung Fu piece about the Wu Dang sword.
Ted Wong - July 1990
Ted Wong is featured on this cover as he tells Black Belt about his training under Bruce Lee. Another feature article tackles a question that is still prevalent today- What's Wrong with Tournament Karate? in an attempt to figure out how to make martial arts a mainstream sport.
Suh In-Hyuk - September 1991
Suh In-Hyuk graced this cover because he was a notable professor for the Rockwell College of Applied Arts and Science that offered doctorates in martial arts through the mail. This issue also provided one of the first major national spotlights for Gracie JuJitsu.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - July 1992
The NBA's all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is featured on this cover for an exclusive interview in which he talks about training with Bruce Lee. Other features include a piece about stunt performers and cross training in martial arts for other athletes.
Kathy Long - August 1992
Kickboxing champion Kathy Long tells all in this issue about being the stunt double for Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. David Lea is also prominently featured for his work as a stunt double for Michael Keaton in Batman and the sequel, Batman Returns.
Brandon Lee - July 1993
Brandon Lee wields a three-sectional staff on the cover of this issue shortly after his tragic passing. In addition to the memorial, champions on the tournament circuit at the time such as Cynthia Rothrock and Kenn Firestone share secrets about designing a winning tournament form.
Royce Gracie - December 1995
UFC 1 tournament winner Royce Gracie gets the cover in this issue as he explains why he had been inactive at the time. There's also a write up of the Ocean State Grand Nationals, where over 1,000 competitors attended while Richard Branden and Mafia Holloway won titles.
Ken Shamrock - March 1996
MMA legend Ken Shamrock is pictured on the cover with challenger Kimo Leopoldo in the background ahead of their superfight. In other news, Team USA took home multiple WAKO world titles as Richard Plowden, Mike Chaturantabut, and Willie Johnson all won gold.
Marco Ruas - February 1997
This cover features Marco Ruas as he tells the Black Belt readers about Vale Tudo, an intense martial art that helped him earn the title of King of the Streets. Another feature article discusses the appeal of martial arts movies and what made them so popular in this era.
Rickson Gracie - May 1998
Rickson Gracie, arguably the greatest jiu jitsu practitioner of all time, is seen on this cover for his feature article about the No-Holds-Barred Fighting association. A fascinating article about learning Tae Kwon Do in Korea is also featured in the issue.
Shannon Lee - February 1999
Shannon Lee, daughter of icon Bruce Lee, is featured for her piece that dives into her training in a variety of martial arts. Gary Alexander, winner of Mas Oyama's first North American Championships, also earns a prominent feature to discuss the state of martial arts at the time.
Steve DeMasco - February 2000
Steve Demasco shares how Chinese Kempo maximizes striking power in the cover issue. In another feature, Meredith Gold shares one of many women's self-defense articles. Century's iconic BOB also makes one of its first advertising appearances in the issue.
Steven Seagal - May 2001
This cover features Steven Seagal after his return to the big screen for Exit Wounds, and discusses his influential role as a promoter of Aikido in the United States. Bare-knuckle karate is also featured as part of the classic debate between Budo and Bujutsu.
40th Anniversary - July 2001
Black Belt celebrates four decades of martial arts history with a mosaic of many impactful covers over the years. A feature article explains how grappling skills are useful for self-defense and "Hwa Rang Do's Golden Child" Taejoon Lee landed an article/photo tutorial as well.
Michael Jai White - February 2002
Michael Jai White credits his Hollywood success to mastery of traditional karate and kobudo in the cover piece of the February 2002 issue. There is also a somewhat controversial piece about the art of trapping and wether or not it is effective in the real world.
Joe Rogan - December 2002
The now ultra-famous podcast host Joe Rogan gets the cover in this issue when he was the host of Fear Factor and was known for training in Taekwondo and Jujutsu. There is also a story about a martial arts "Celebrity Roast" to honor Bob Wall featuring the likes of Chuck Norris.
Helio Gracie - February 2003
Co-Founder of Gracie Jiu Jitsu alongside his brothers, Helio Gracie, graces the cover of this issue for an article about his life and legacy. Also, after new rules were implemented by the World Karate Federation, John Fonseca shares his kumite secrets.
David Carradine - December 2003
Following the release and success of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Volume 1, David Carradine gets a long-overdue feature on the cover of Black Belt. In other news, K-1 legend Bob Sapp confronted Mike Tyson after knocking out Kimo Leopoldo.
Liddell & Couture - March 2005
Ahead of the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter, UFC stars Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell appear in the cover article and give tips for any readers that may want to give the reality show a try. A feature article titled "High-Tech Training" discusses the use of instructional DVDs as well.
Jet Li - June 2005
Wushu superstar Jet Li sheds his hero archetype in Unleashed and gets a spot on the cover for it. The legendary Morihei Uyeshiba is also prominently featured in an article that details the striking and pressure points used in Aikido.
Scott Adkins - February 2011
Leading up to Black Belt's 50th anniversary, this issue is the second in a series of five that features a decade-by-decade timeline of martial arts history as told by Black Belt. Scott Adkins gets the cover as one of seven featured individuals that define the "21st Century Martial Artist".
50th Anniversary - June 2011
Martial arts icons like Jhoon Rhee, Stephen K. Hayes, Dan Inosanto, and more write personal notes to Black Belt in celebration of the 50th anniversary. There is also a prominent write up of Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster starring Donnie Yen.
Mike Dillard - August 2011
Black Belt's 2011 Man of the Year and the founder/CEO of Century Martial Arts, Mike Dillard, is featured on the cover of this issue. Anthony "Showtime" Pettis is also featured in the issue after his signature knockout of Ben Henderson by jumping off the cage with a round kick.
Ronda Rousey - May 2012
Ronda Rousey gets featured on the cover after medaling in Judo at the olympics and having some early MMA succes, but before fighting for the UFC title. Sport Karate legend Steve "Nasty" Anderson does an exclusive interview about the Superman Punch vs California Blitz.
Kayla Harrison - November 2012
Kayla Harrison lands on this cover after winning her first gold medal and bringing United States Olympic Judo to prominence. The 2012 Black Belt Hall of Fame is also announced in this issue, featuring Jae Chul Shin, Ronda Rousey, Sage Northcutt, and more.
Master Ken - December 2014
YouTube superstar Master Ken dons the signature red Ameri-Do-Te sleeveless uniform on this cover. He and his true self, Matt Page, answer questions separately in a truly one-of-a-kind feature article. The rest of the 2014 Hall of Fame class is also announced in this issue.
Cobra Kai - February 2021
This brings us to 2021, the modern era of Black Belt. The stars of Netflix's Cobra Kai are featured as their show captures the attention of martial artists and fans around the world. Black Belt celebrates their 60th anniversary and looks ahead to many more years of martial arts.
The first Kosen Judo Event held by the Shoshinkan Dojo (a 501c3 corporation) this past Saturday in Las Vegas on May 1st is now history, but it's already on the way to becoming a legend. The venue was their new larger dojo. Approximately 130 competitors from clubs throughout the area attended.
The Opening Ceremonies
Marcus Martin sang the National Anthem. Me with David O'Donnell & Jerome Jeannest of Shoshinkan.
How did David O'Donnell come up with the idea? Dave has lived in Japan for a short while as a teen where he worked on his Judo, Aikido and Karate journey. Embracing the culture and a Wonderful Country that is embracing various martial arts, understanding that one art completes another. Martial Arts doesn't divide, it unites. What happens here is that politics, special interests and a thirst for glory is overshadowing the beauty of martial arts.
Unity was the spirit of the Kosen Judo Tournament that took place last Saturday, friendship, love of the arts and rejoice from being kept away from full-contact sports for over a Year of hardship all around the World. I remember Dave speaking to me after returning from the Judo Winter Nationals®, about the fact that coaches and some referees were nostalgic of the original rules of Judo, resembling more of Kosen-Judo than what is Judo now. Inspired to bring back newaza focus into Judo.
Our takeaways from the event:
- Lots of happy faces
- Lots of amazing Kosen-Judo techniques
- Great sportsmanship from most contestants
- Some true leadership from certain coaches
- Some frustrations from coaches and referees
- Some bruises, some physically and to some egos, mostly the latter
No one is truly at fault, really. We could point out that the rules were clearly explained from the get-go, that categories, timing, genders matches were all clearly stated, emailed and posted on the website. We could place blame on some coaches for not understanding that it was not a judo tournament but a true Kosen-Judo tournament. We could have been condescending and re-explain not only the theme of the tournament but also the history of Judo and the true spirit of Kano Sensei but we chose not to. Instead we chose the path of understanding the frustration of some coaches that have accustomed to only bring gold home, to crush their opponents and not to enjoy being challenged.
Change is difficult and it is sometimes painful to realize that this tournament is meant to challenge one's ability to face a new facet of the sport. Truth be told, only one coach seemed to not understand where he was and that he was attending a Kosen-Judo tournament. Everyone else had grasped the concept and rolled with the "punches" (no pun intended) of trying something new to them. I was amazed by the courtesy of Steve, Leandro, Denise, Ilene and Anthony. Not just coaches but sensei in its true meaning.
The marriage between Judo and BJJ is not a tough one when you are open-minded, not insecure and willing to push yourself to new horizons. And also familiar with the history of these two fine martial arts originating from Kosen Judo. We learned that we need a Kosen Judo referees program, if it was hard to grasp for coaches, imagine how difficult it was for our referees. We need the coaches to actually attend the coaches meeting required prior to the event. Some of the frustration of some coaches came from not attending such meetings.
I think the most eyes opening moment for me was to observe a coach not caring for his students feelings, not appreciating that the kids were having fun, not seeing the contestants hugging each other after the fight, complimenting each other, coming to see me and Dave privately so that their angry coach would not see them thanking us for so much fun and congratulating Dave on his excellent teaching technique for having brought true opponents to them.
One of the participants, multiple time champion in BJJ, also won in our tournament, telling us that, while he won, he had never been challenged that much before. Another kid said to another, that he had been training all his life and yet had never been challenged that much and it felt so good to not win again.
At the end of the day, listen to your students, watch how much fun they have, watch how much more they progress when they learn something new. Worry less about building up a trophy cabinet full of easy-handed victories and more on teaching martial arts, opening up to new techniques, legendary techniques that were tucked away to sensationalize our sports and mitigate chances of worthy opponents.
Kosen Judo is not new, it's been there for centuries but it seems that, on May 1st, 2021, it was re-discovered by some and certainly re-introduced at Shoshinkan Las Vegas and we are very proud of that. We can't wait for our 2022 tournament. We are so excited about it; we won't even wait another 12 months for it, announcing our 2022 Kosen Judo Tournament to take place in March. The outpouring of compliments and inquiries (example below) are telling us we are heading in the right direction, already looking at larger locations to host, developing a Kosen Judo referees program and more to come.
You are both so gracious and welcoming. My team had a great time and enjoyed the tournament. This event made them even closer as a team and will make them more determined to train harder. We hope to develop more champions for next year and eventually go to the nationals in the near future. Thank you for including us in this event. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Mahalo and Aloha
Thank you for your warm words and compliments. I appreciate your making us a part of your event and making us feel at home in your amazing new gym. I love your vision for the tournament and I feel that you and Dave have done an amazing job with it.
The refereeing on the other hand was puzzling to me at best. I feel that the gentlemen who came in agreed to one ruleset but then went off the cuff and enforced an entirely different ruleset, one that we didn't understand. I really appreciate your response to the whole thing, both you and Dave, and your willingness to rectify it in future events. I love your idea and I see a future where your tournament helps not only bring together martial artists of all styles, but also helps make everyone better. I'm really looking forward to working with you and your team again. You guys are all gentlemen and true martial artists.
It was great to work with Jerome and Dave once again and be a part of their amazing concept. When I was initially approached by them, Dave brought me his vision of creating a tournament that would allow all the grappling arts to showcase their abilities and share their styles with one another. Immediately, I loved the idea and jumped at the chance to enter into this type of event. Any chance we get to gain some competition experience is always welcome, but competing in a different ruleset against martial artists of different styles brought with it a whole new element of intrigue and excitement for myself and my students.
Steve Ficca (in coach chair) of Odin's Halls Brazilian Jiu Jitsu And Fitness
The first event we did together went off without a hitch. While we were still getting used to the rules, the scoring, and the refs communicating with us in Japanese, we were welcomed with open arms and had a great time learning about what Kosen is, and what our strengths and weaknesses are when facing off against other martial arts styles. Since that day, we have begun studying the rules a bit more, learning the ins and outs of Kosen Judo, which as I understand it, is a ruleset much closer to the original Judo invented by Jigoro Kano than the Olympic style we see today.
This past Saturday's event, however, went quite differently, and some controversy arose regarding the rules. As complete rookies to the Kosen style of competition, we studied the rules given to us in the USJA rule sheet, as well as told to us in the rules meeting the night before. Rules such as leg grabbing take downs and guard pulling being permitted helped our players feel more comfortable when entering the event, while the rule that "competitors will only be stood up if both are entangled in some form of guard with neither one attempting to improve their position" assured us that as long as we work at an active pace, we would be allowed to work the techniques we specialize in on the ground.
Unfortunately, there were certain officials who either did not respect or did not understand these rules, frequently standing up and resetting our players not only during the application of techniques like juji gatame, sankaku-jime, and shime waza, but also after these techniques had been completed and our opponent had submit. In one such instance, the referee actually asked another official what a sankaku-jime (triangle choke) was, and the referee informed him of not only what it was but also its legality, forcing the same child to be strangled to submission for the third time in the same match.
These oversights led to a convoluted event, with many of the coaches, participants, and officials losing their temper on one another rather than celebrating the beauty of what could have been a great event. In my experience, great martial artists and great people will always come together to share the beauty of their art and culture with one another. In order for that to happen, all of us as martial artists have to be willing to adapt, change, and grow not only to further our respective sports, but the art of grappling as a whole. I feel that as time goes on, we should look to see more and more of these events, hopefully under a unified rule system where all of us can showcase our art and share our ideas with one another.
In my academy, we believe and practice under the idea that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu without throws, and Judo without Ne-Waza are just two incomplete pieces to a beautiful puzzle, and in a perfect world a practitioner should familiarize themselves with the strengths and weaknesses of both styles in order to make for a more rounded, more efficient grappler. In the future, we look forward to being able to enter more of these events, not as rivals but as friends with the practitioners of other martial arts in hopes to grow the future of what can and should be a mainstream sport.
Jerome Jeannest, Mario Garcia, Gary Goltz, & Leandro Lorenco of Milestone Martial Arts
I want to apologize to everyone in the team, students and parents for asking you to compete in a tournament like the one today.
Girls fighting boys, uneven weight division and rules favoring BJJ .
This was not a Judo tournament and was not fair, taking away the beauty of Ippon and rewarding defensive posture and no attack is not what Judo is. This is not even close to old rules Judo, this is an UGLY BJJ tournament. I had students competing in better BJJ tournaments and we are not a BJJ school.
I did not expect it this and I am sorry.
This was ugly I but you were beautiful, you fought like samurai warriors and made me proud.
Our final results were:
- Kaliya Klise
- Kezra Mc Kenzie
- Vaughn Geisendorf
- Rizgod Alvarez
- Jayla Klise
- William Thomas
- Miguel Alvarez
Did not place but made our team proud:
- Roman Klise
- Alvaro Lewis
- Danial Bridges
This was a tournament catering BJJ people in our city, I doesn't do anything for Judo. We need to grow Judo, bring people to Judo, not promote bad Judo.
Kosen Judo needs some rules changes.
I apologize and I hope you'll compete in the next REAL JUDO tournament.
Thanks to my assistant coaches – Miquel Leon, Luis Arregoitia, Sergio Sanchez, Jr. and Chris Miguel for being there with me.
Gary Goltz with good friend (to his right) Sergio Sanchez of Ryoku Judo.
To Sergio Sanchez of Ryoku.
I propose a rematch. All the same teams, all the same competitors. We will happily keep our 13 and 14 year old girls in the 15-16 year old boy divisions if it pleases you, and we will either double our performance and take home a minimum of 18 golds in 24 divisions, or I will personally hand the head coach of each club $1,000 in cash.
Our stipulations: a TRUE grappling tournament, not a throwing contest.
Sub only. Gi or nogi, your choice. You can choose the time limits too. We will host the event, or we can host it in a venue of your choosing. We don't care .
Is that the same event about which Gary Goltz posted yesterday? Two posts, two atmospheres. Is all that tension and (alleged) lack of organization common in US tournaments?
We have much to learn in this new venture and I urge everyone to keep an open mind. My approach towards referring was to let the players go unless they went got out of bounds or engaged in a prolonged stalemate.
This is terrible, I trained Kosen Judo in Montreal a few years ago and the Japanese senseis were super open minded so I don´t get why so many non-Asian guys get so cultish about it. Judo is judo and all styles can coexist.
This has been the problem with U.S. Judo, they can be very closed minded. Events like this one are needed to stir change. Yes, Judo is Judo, Kano kept an open mind!!
Yeah but there are good guys in the US, thing is marketing wise, they maybe don´t know how to promote their work more.
Correct, I've often said in American Judo we tend to step on ourselves! Gene LeBell got banned for turning into a pro wrestler back in the early 60's!
Sadly, some very good grapplers are very ignorant about the art, I know the level in wrestling and BJJ in the US it´s outstanding but some guys are way too ignorant and closed minded.
Tournament was well organized and went smoothly with no serious injuries. Kosen Judo is a new movement in the U.S. Judo and naturally still evolving.
More to come!
Looking forward to seeing many of my friends there!
- Kosen Judo Rules as of 2019 - Black Belt Magazine ›
- Judo Blog: More on Kosen Judo - Black Belt Magazine ›
The phrase "procedural misstep" was the final word on what caused Eddie Alvarez's loss in his One Championship fight with Iuri Lapicus.
The acknowledgment of this by an independent panel is what gave way to the overturning of Alvarez's loss to a No-contest. The word "appeal" in these contexts has nearly lost all meaning in MMA as a whole. It is extremely rare to have a fighter go through that process – a potentially costly one at that – to get the governing bodies of the particular fight in question to revisit an in-cage decision and/or subsequently to change it. It is challenging without doing significant research to find any times it was a successful endeavor.
There were as often is the case some MMA contrarians in this situation with Lapicus/Alvarez who believed the call was correct. Biases can seem to rule at times like this. Times when a call or official's decision in the course of a fight is questionable or outright bad and some will still agree with it. For the most part, however, it was panned as a bad call by referee Justin Brown. Or at best, very questionable. Whether or not the blows Eddie was landing were illegal, there should have been more of a warning or at least an escalation of warnings. It may be that even a point-deduction had this been under the unified rules would have been too extreme a call.
Whether or not there are folks who think contrary as a matter of course, it seems the leadership and decision-makers at One saw what nearly everyone else did. Most importantly, they did something about what they saw. Though Alvarez lost in his immediate turnaround fight and chance at internal redemption just weeks later with Ok Rae Yoon, there is indeed solace. For Eddie and the whole roster, the panel that One used to arbitrate this took a legitimate appeal seriously. Something many think MMA could use more of.
In MMA in general, when it is said by a fighter or their team that they plan on appealing to the powers-that-be, there is little to no expectation of a change. It is noteworthy that One Championship seems to have done the right thing here by its athlete and possible the sport as a whole.