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09th Apr 2017

One of the most bizarre finishes to a fight condemns Chris Weidman to third consecutive defeat

Gegard Mousasi even scolded his corner for celebrating

Darragh Murphy

Well that was a clusterfuck.

The Buffalo crowd was rendered speechless by the ending to UFC 210’s co-main event on Saturday night as New York’s own Chris Weidman was defeated in some of the most bizarre circumstances imaginable.

In the middleweight meeting of Weidman and the streaking Gegard Mousasi, confusion abounded as referee Dan Miragliotta made a crucial error.

Towards the end of the second round, Mousasi had defended a shot by controlling the head and body of ‘The All-American’ before the Dutchman sent a pair of knees up to Weidman’s skull.

After the second knee landed, the referee jumped in and called for five minutes on the clock for Weidman to recover as Miragliotta was led to believe that both his hands were down at the time which would have made the strike illegal.

Given the updated Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, a fighter kneeing an opponent who has one hand and both feet on the mat is a legal knee but if both hands and both feet are on the mat, that knee is illegal.

On second viewing, Weidman did not have both hands on the mat so the knee was legitimate but the New York State Athletic Commission does not allow video replays.

As the doctors took to the Octagon to see to Weidman, cageside official ‘Big’ John McCarthy let Miragliotta know that the knee was in fact legal.

A decision had to be made because, technically, Weidman should not have been receiving medical treatment unless a foul had taken place, which it clearly hadn’t. But Miragliotta continued to allow the doctors to speak to the former UFC middleweight champion.

Eventually the call was made and it was not a popular one as a TKO victory was awarded to Mousasi to a chorus of boos in the KeyBank Centre.

The way the bout ended irked both men and Mousasi even criticised his teammates for trying to raucously celebrate afterwards.

“I apologise to Weidman. I like the guy,” Mousasi said after the fight. “I’ve got nothing against him. These things happen in fights.”

And all of a sudden, after previously putting together a perfect professional record of 13-0, Weidman had succumbed to three consecutive defeats.

He was absolutely heartbroken by the bizarre turn of events.

“I’m so sorry this freaking happened,” Weidman said. “I’m feeling for you guys.

“I think that was an illegal knee. Why would they even stop the fight at all if it was a legal knee?

“I felt my hands were 100 per cent down.”