The following are quotes from Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer from an article on TheFightNetwork.com:
“He appeared to ignore the referee’s verbal and physical commands to break the chokehold and continued to have the chokehold for an inappropriate amount of time thereafter,” Kizer said.
Kizer confronted Sobral (28-7), a former contender for the UFC light heavyweight championship, regarding his actions following the event.
“When we talked to him after the fight, he said, `Look, you know, we’re taught, even if you feel a guy tap, you don’t let go when the guy taps because he might be doing a Matt Lindland on you.’ Those are his words,” Kizer said. “He said, `Even though I felt Heath tap, I continued to hold the choke until the referee told me to stop, and then I stopped.’ I said, `Well, that’s not what I saw.'”
Kizer, who obtained footage of Sobral’s post-fight interview, said the matter would be addressed when the NSAC convenes in Las Vegas at 9:30 AM PST Friday. At that point, the commission could decide to withhold Sobral's bonus and pursue additional action.
Former UFC welterweight champion B.J. Penn drew criticism in June for failing to immediately release his rear-naked choke to a Jens Pulver tapout at “The Ultimate Fighter 5” Finale. However, Pulver never lost consciousness, and the two rivals embraced inside the Octagon seconds later.
“Other than the fact that they were both submission holds, I don’t see a real similarity between those two fights,” Kizer said. “This was much more egregious than that. When the referee gets involved, and when the referee is on you trying to pry off your arms and you still won’t let go, that’s a whole different level to me.”
To read the complete article on The Fight Network website, click here.