Wednesday, February 21, 2007

To Knee or Not To Knee...but where it landed, is the question!

John Halverson's UFC debut against Roger Huerta at UFC 67, 'All or Nothing' was a nightmare. Just a little over 15 seconds into their bout, Huerta landed a knee that appeared to hit Halverson's head or shoulder while his knee was on the ground. If the knee hit the head, it should have been determined a foul, but if the knee hit the shoulder then the strike was legal and what happened next doesn't matter. Even the replay leaves a doubt to where the knee actually hit. Halverson believing the hit was a foul, remained on the floor face down while Huerta took his back, unleashing several unanswered blows. The referee, Yves Lavigne, stepped in and halted the bout, declaring Huerta the winner at just 19 seconds. So where did that knee really hit? Here is what a frustrated Halverson told ADCC News in this quick Q and A.

ADCC: Obviously your UFC debut against Roger Huerta did not go your way. There still seems to be a question to where Huerta's knee actually hit. In the post fight interview, Huerta indicated that it hit your shoulder. How disappointed are you and where in fact did that knee hit you?
JOHN: Of course he would say that the knee hit my shoulder! Truthfully, the knee hit my jaw, right by my ear. It didn't put me out. I did hear the ref say 'illegal knee'. Thinking I was going to get a stand up, I didn't do shit. That is my fault. Then, I felt Roger on my back, and I knew I was in trouble, so I covered up. When the ref stopped the fight I complained that I was hit in the face (by his knee) when I was grounded. The ref said , 'I know, I know- stay there!' Then, when the fight was declared over I was pissed. Now, in hindsight, if I would have known the fight would have been stopped I would have taken my chances on a scramble and risked the choke. I could have at least fought that. But again, I didn't do shit because when I heard the ref say 'illegal knee', I thought I was getting a stand up. I do not think Roger Huerta did that intentionally. He is not a dirty fighter. I think I was in a bad spot and he timed the knee to catch me on my way up. Another second and I would have been off my knees.

ADCC: If the knee hit your jaw like you say, then it was an illegal hit. Are you and your management planning to appeal the fight to at least get the fight declared a no contest?
JOHN: My manager is looking into that now. In addition, he has sent a correspondence to the UFC. I have never been in this situation, so I don't really know much about it. But, I'm sure we will get all straightened out shortly.

ADCC: Did anyone from the UFC talk you and offer another chance in the UFC or that the bout what be reviewed?
JOHN: I have not spoken to anyone with the UFC following my bout. I was really upset that night and did not want to say anything I would regret later, so I thought it would be best to leave it up to my manager to work out.

ADCC: You stated that the referee indicated for you to stay down. Did you have a chance to talk to Yves Lavigne and what did he say to you?
JOHN: No, following that I did not talk to Mr. Lavigne. But, yes that is exactly what he instructed me to do which is why I was so surprised when the bout was declared over.

ADCC: Where do you go from here?
JOHN: Back to training! I am not going to let this get me down. Roger's part was an accident, my part was a mistake. One that I know never to make again. I hope that I get another chance to prove myself in the UFC. I was in great shape and ready for the fight.

ADCC: Thanks for the time John and do have anything to say to your fans or sponsors? JOHN: I would really like to thank those who have stood behind me. I have received a ton of emails, and I really appreciate them all. Obviously, this is not the performance that people expected from me, and for that I apologize. Also, a huge thanks to all of my sponsors for all they have done. I can only hope that they will continue to support me.

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