Originally Posted by Sakara=Excitement
Well this is my opinion, I know people will disagree
1st hit - Back of the neck (I'm not sure if that's legal or illegal?)
2nd hit - Side of the head
3rd hit - Side of the head
4th hit - Back of the head
5th hit - Back of the head
6th hit - Side of the head
7th hit - Side of the head
8th hit - Back of the neck
If the back of the neck is illegal then I stand corrected. I would also like to point out the shots in the gif that drop and put out Cote are legal. The second shot slumps Cote down which is 100 percent clearly to the side of his head. And then the 6th and 7th shots slump him down even more which both were to the side of the head.
But that's how I saw it.
Since when is 3 illegal shots the threshold for legality? One shot may deserve a warning, and two to three warrants a halt during the bout. The problem was that they couldn't just stop the action anyways because Cote was considered hurt enough to stop the contest.
If referees misinterpreted illegal shots and allowed a fighter to continue/win in previous fights, that is an issue of inconsistency and misinterpretation of the rules, not a justification for Sakara's illegal shots.
Nonetheless, if we were to go by your interpretation of what was back of the head and not, it would have been 4 shots as back of the neck is in fact illegal. "Striking to the spine or the back of the head" is a foul. The cervical vertebrae, that is part of the spine, starts at the neck.