Shawn West joined Michael Fiedel on Fighting Words on July 22 to reflect on the illegal knee that saw him disqualified against Boston Salmon at LFA 84.
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West is adamant that his intention was not to throw an illegal strike, and that he believed Salmon was not considered to be a “grounded fighter” at the time of the strike. However, upon reviewing the fight footage, he has since acknowledged that the strike was illegal, or that the margin of legality was so slim that an illegal distinction was justified.
In the weeks following the illegal blow, West has received a steady stream of criticism on social media, ranging from allegations that he is a ‘dirty’ fighter, a bad person, or worse. The 31-year-old has read comments suggesting he be tried in criminal court for the blow. He also received death threats.
“When I get people saying these things to me I troll back and I responded in a negative manner because I was upset that I was receiving all these things. I’m receiving death threats. I’m receiving foreign people in my inbox: ‘You’re a shit fighter.’ No, no I’m not at all actually. I feel like I performed pretty well [against] a fantastic fighter who I have been a fan of and it’s tainted by a fucking dumb move and an idea. Maybe if I stayed with punches I wouldn’t be in this situation.”
“I’d rather go back to boxing, where your hands are covered and there’s no question for knees and kicks, you know what I mean? This is crazy, man. One thing you’ll never see, though, is you’ll never see me throw kicks and knees in a boxing match. So if you want to question my character on this – ‘Is he an illegal fighter; is he a dirty fighter?’ – I don’t just throw illegal (expletive) strikes, man. I didn’t mean to throw that, man. I don’t throw a kick in a boxing match. I threw a knee, where knees are thrown in MMA fights, and I’m paying the price for it. I received a loss, half my money to take care of my family [with the loss, preventing West from earning his ‘win’ money], death threats, and some would say all of that is a little bit better than a broken face,” said West.
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Michael Fiedel is The Body Lock's deputy editor, a staff writer for FloCombat, and a Russell-Rice scholarship recipient at Vanderbilt University.