Did Everyone Notice One Championship Did the Right Thing?
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.