Khetag Pliev nearly lost a finger earlier this month, but he now has one less loss on his record.
The 37-year-old middleweight suffered one of the most bizarre injuries in combat sports history at CFFC 94 in Philadelphia on April 2 after his ring finger was bent back into his glove and left in such a malformed state that it was originally thought to have been severed mid-fight. Initially, the bout was ruled a TKO victory for his opponent Devin Goodale when the injury was discovered between the second and third rounds.
The finger didn’t completely sever and Pliev later confirmed that it was successfully reattached. He and his coach Joey Patterson spoke to MMA Fighting about the injury, which Patterson described as the finger “hanging by a thread, hanging by the skin.” Patterson also planned to appeal the loss due to the injury seemingly being caused or aggravated by Goodale illegally grabbing Pliev’s glove in the second round.
“What we’re going to do is appeal the decision because it should be a disqualification,” Patterson said. “You’re not allowed to pull on the glove. In MMA, that’s a no-no and if you see the video, even the announcers are saying he has his hands inside of his glove. He literally hooked inside the glove and caused his finger to get lodged in there.”
On Friday, MMA Fighting confirmed with Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission director Greg Sirb that Pliev’s loss to Goodale has been overturned, though it is now a no decision and not the disqualification Patterson had hoped for.
Sirb provided the following statement:
“Upon extensive review of all the videos, talking with the referee and physicians cornering the bout and discussions held with both fighters, I have determined to change the official decision of this bout to a NO DECISION.”
MMA Fighting reached out to Serb for further comment following an initial report by MMA Junkie. He added, “There’s a lot of things that went on in that bout that led to a very fair no decision. They do have the right to appeal if they feel they have to, but ultimately a very strange set of circumstances, but I think a very fair no decision.”
With the change, Pliev’s record is now 5-1 (1 NC) while Goodale’s is 3-0 (1 NC).
Pliev told MMA Fighting that he plans to continue fighting when he is recovered from his injury.
“The bible says whatever happens, happens for a good reason,” Pliev said in the recent interview. “So praise God. About what’s happening right now, this thing going viral, that’s not in my hands. That’s in God’s hands. I don’t know what’s happening. And if it benefits CFFC—I met the president Robert [Haydek] and I appreciate him putting me there—and whatever good things come out of it, I’m in, brother.
“Now I have to do something with this hand, fix it and, God willing, I can continue with my fighting.”