NAC pushes back on proposed Igor Severino punishment for UFC bite, cites ‘unbelievably dangerous’ precedent

All signs have pointed toward punishment for Igor Severino since biting his opponent during his UFC debut, but the terms remain up in the air.

The Nevada Athletic Commission voted against an adjudication agreement proposed and presented by the Nevada Attorney General’s Office during a monthly commission meeting Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Deputy attorney general Matthew Feeley revealed a settlement agreement had been reached between his office and Severino’s team for him to serve a six-month suspension retroactive to the March 23 foul and pay $3,314.08, equivalent to 30 percent of his $10,000 show money with legal fees.

“There is very little precedent when it comes to people biting each other in the ring,” Feeley said. “… (Tyson vs. Holyfield) was a little more severe. That one actually took skin off the body. This one I don’t even think caused blood. A lot of consideration went into the incident, and this is obviously something that can’t be tolerated.”

Commissioner Anthony Marnell expressed concerns at the duration of the suspension and said it set a dangerous precedent going forward. The matter was tabled for the next commission meeting on May 31 as the commission intends to lengthen the suspension to a year.

“I guess my concern is that if we approve this, we set a precedent at six months for this type of behavior and then it’s in our record, and that’s kind of how we have to roll going forward,” Marnell said. “I’m not in favor of the six months. What the UFC does is what the UFC does. That’s the promotion’s issue. He can get picked up by Bellator. But if we say, ‘Now you can bite somebody in the ring and only get six months off, which is basically nothing … it’s like a fighter only has two fights a year anyway. He doesn’t miss anything. There is zero penalty here, other than three grand.”

“… The bigger issue is the precedent we set going forward. If it happens again, you’re stuck at six months. That is unbelievably dangerous for this commission. That’s my opinion. You guys can all vote how you want.”

Severino’s representation attempted to join the meeting via teleconference but entered after the agenda item had passed and were denied from commenting.

Severino, 21, was immediately released from the promotion after he chomped the left tricep of Andre Lima at UFC on ESPN 53 at the UFC Apex. The fight had been competitive up until the point of the foul, for which Severino was disqualified by referee Chris Tognoni.

In the week following the incident, Severino apologized profusely during an interview with MMA Junkie. He said he did not understand why he bit Lima and did not remember doing it, a mental lapse he hypothesized could’ve been to a strike absorbed earlier in the fight.

Severino accepted responsibility for the foul. Emotional, Severino also revealed he and his family had been threatened online following the incident. Severino expressed hope that he will not be defined by one moment and that the UFC would someday give him a second shot.

Following the incident, Lima publicly defended Severino and made light of the situation by tattooing the bite mark on his arm. The two recently appeared in-person together on a Portuguese-language podcast.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie