Munster native Stephan Bonnar plans to contest the result of his Saturday loss at UFC 110 in Sydney, he told The Times on Tuesday.
In the third round of his light heavyweight bout against Krzysztof Soszynski, Bonnar and "The Polish Experiment" accidentally clashed heads. The result was a cut on Bonnar's forehead that was deep enough for the doctor to stop the fight.
Soszynski was awarded a TKO victory, which Bonnar believes should be overturned. It was Bonnar's third straight loss, dropping him to 5-6 in the UFC and 11-7 overall.
"It's only fair to get this overturned to a no contest or draw," Bonnar said. "In the rules, if after two rounds a fighter suffers a cut from an illegal blow, they go to the scorecard. The judges had it one round a piece, which would have made it a draw."
Bonnar said the fight's referee, John Sharp, missed the head butt and claimed the cut came from a legal strike.
"Right after (it) happened, I pointed to my head and told him, 'Head butt,'" Bonnar said. "Why he didn't look up at the replay, which they showed about 30 times, I have no idea."
After the decision was announced, Bonnar pulled his arm away from Sharp, clearly disappointed in the official result. Soszynski, after the fight, went to Bonnar and even lifted him up to show his respect. Bonnar said both he and Soszynski want a rematch.
"Krzysztof acknowledged the cut was from a head butt and would like to finish the fight as well," Bonnar said. "He was a good sport and a class act. We gave each other credit for a great fight. He knew the clash of heads opened the cut, and like myself would like a rematch. It just shows what kind of sportsman he is. He earned my respect as well."
Bonnar, who first came to international MMA prominence for his fight with Forrest Griffin to close out the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show, said UFC president Dana White spoke to him after the bout.
"He just told me it was a great fight and sorry I got screwed like that," Bonnar said.
Bonnar said this situation is a first for him.
"I have never been wronged so bad in a situation that was so obvious," he said. "I still can't understand the referee. Yes, I will appeal this decision. I just want what is fair. How do 20,000, people including my opponent and the commentators, see that a clash of heads occurred and the referee not see it? I feel like I'm in a pro wrestling match, where one of the wrestlers hits his opponent over the head with a chair when the referee's back's turned. Everyone in the arena sees what happened but the ref, then the ref gets down and gives the three-count and gives the guy the win. It really feels like that."
Craig Waller, executive officer for Combat Sports Authority, the New South Wales-based commission that oversaw UFC 110, said Tuesday that Bonnar had not yet filed anything to contest the result, but did say a draw would be possible.
"A technical points draw would be the only result if a protest was received and upheld," Waller said.
Bonnar told The Times he expects to remain in Australia for another week before returning to his home in Las Vegas.