Roy Nelson has been slapped with a nine month suspension from the sport for kicking referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy following his KO victory over Antonio Silva at UFC Fight Night 95 in Brazil back in September.
Nelson had aimed a light push kick at McCarthy’s rear in annoyance at what he believed to have been a late stoppage, stating afterwards that he didn’t want to beat up his friend Silva any more than he had to.
Nelson, who had stated in the lead-up to the fight that he didn’t like McCarthy, offered a half-hearted apology backstage in which he noted that he wouldn’t take back what he’d done.
UFC president Dana White was Nelson’s most outspoken critic after the incident, stating that the Brazilian commission should throw the book at the veteran heavyweight fighter for his actions.
In the end the Brazilian Superior Justice Court of MMA stopped short of hammering ‘Big Country’ with the most severe 25 month suspension at their disposal, instead opting for a nine month ban and $24,000 fine.
“The athlete has an obligation to respect the honor, preserve the health, and physical and moral integrity of the referee,” STJDMMA stated at the hearing in Brazil as they handed down Nelson’s punishment, which is retroactice to September 29th.
Unusually, STJDMMA have actually given Nelson a chance to reduce his sentence to just 6 months and $13,700 if he formally apologizes to McCarthy either inside the Octagon or at a press conference before the end of the year.