Thanks for your response Gabriel,
I don't claim to be an octopus expert, I am merely stating observations from having hundreds of so called "interactions" with reef octopus for a over a decade. They are shy typically, which is why it hid from you in the first place. I personally don't believe in using techniques to have "interactions" with marine animals. I believe that photographers should photograph animals exactly how they find them, without harm or manipulation used to produce the photograph.
And the video you shared does display the amazing capabilities of Octopus in shallow tide pools, but I don't think it saves this photo and how it was achieved. Now the question of whether your photo is natural behavior has been answered. You admitted to forcing the "interaction" with the animal. Does this disqualify your image from the contest? That is for the judges to decide.
But the real reason I felt compelled to bring this up in a public forum is because of the two missing arms I see in some photographs and then one missing arm in another photo, and then, what seems to be a healthy (albeit scared) 8 armed octopus in another. It is hard to tell if I am perceiving this correctly. Maybe the octopus shifts and hides its arms in some photos and not others. My apologies if the octopus was found this way....But With the inking and the odd behavior and the admitted forced "interaction", it gives me a bad feeling that the animal was damaged for the purpose of making a pretty photo. I have zero tolerance for this type of behavior from fellow photographers and I sincerely hope this was not the case. This looks very fishy to me, so I spoke up.