UFC boss Dana White ANGRY over Fight Island officiating: ‘Horrible’
While UFC 251 delivered great fights and story lines, there was also questionable officiating, which UFC president Dana White didn’t shy away from addressing.
On the main card, Petr Yan and Jose Aldo met for the vacant bantamweight title. While the bout was relatively competitive for the most part, Yan began taking over as the fight went on. In the fifth round, Aldo was grounded and absorbing dozens of unanswered shots. Despite Aldo clearly being out of the fight, curling up as his only defence, referee Leon Roberts didn’t stop the fight until 3:24 in the final round.
The backlash online was swift, with fans, fighters and pundits alike critiquing the refereeing. White chimed in on Roberts’ officiating as well.
“Horrible, horrible stoppage by the referee,” White told reporters at the post-fight press conference. “It should’ve been stopped way sooner, you know. It looks like we have to tighten up our refs and judges here in ‘Fight Island.’”
That was not the only point of contention in regards to officiating, however. The co-main event saw Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway face off in a rematch for the featherweight title. In their first meeting at UFC 245, Volkanovski edged out Holloway, capturing the title from the latter.
Their rematch played out quite differently, with Holloway setting a hard pace initially, winning the first two rounds. Volkanovski was never out of the fight, but Holloway seemed to be a step ahead in most areas. In the end, the judges controversially scored the bout for Volkanovski with the scores 47–48, 48–47, 48–47.
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“Listen, man, you can’t leave it to these guys,” White told media after the event. “We’ve got some bad judging. Has Max been in here yet? I’m sure he’s devastated.”
When asked about the possibility of a third meeting between the two, White was open but not committed to the idea.
“I dunno. Did anybody in here score it for Volkanovski?” he asked, to no response. “Nobody in the media? I don’t know. We’ll have to figure it out.”
While MMA has come a long way since it’s rough beginnings, there is still much that can be improved upon, as is evident by the officiating this weekend.