While UFC 178 provided a lot of thrilling moments, one of the card’s lowlights ironically took place in the “Fight of the Night.”
As everyone and their goldfish knows by now, Yoel Romero came back from near defeat on Saturday, to score a jaw dropping, stoppage win over Tim Kennedy in round three. The comeback was something no one will forget anytime soon, but the big question is, however, whether it should have taken place at all.
Romero had received too much vaseline to cover a cut he had incurred, and as a result, extra time was allotted between rounds to have some of it removed. In addition, Romero’s corner pulled a ‘whoopsy’ by leaving the stool in for him to sit on, as they were told to leave the cage.
More seconds ticked away, and in total, Romero received an extra 28 seconds to recover. The middleweight proceeded to get up, resume his attack, and put Kennedy away with a barrage of shots in round three.
Well, Kennedy was effin mad about the delay on Saturday night, and clearly he still is now. The veteran fighter appeared on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour” to discuss the controversial fight, and here is just some of what he had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“I thought the fight was over twice,” said Kennedy. “If anybody’s to blame, it’s totally me for the outcome. And I think somebody has to step up and be a bigger guy in all this. Dana [White] knows he cheated, the Nevada Athletic Commission knows that he cheated, his corner knew that he cheated. You know, they were bragging about it, smiling about it. [Ricardo] Liborio’s coming up and apologizing…
“They all know what happened, it’s the oldest trick in the book. It’s no secret. If this is any other sport, if this is NFL or the NBA, it’d be like, oh man, the end of the fourth quarter, we’re going to go an extra 28 seconds. It doesn’t happen. It’s beyond unprofessional, it’s truly tragic.”
There’s no question that there’s plenty of blame to go around, and based off how hurt Romero looked at the end of round two, the extra time almost certainly helped.
It was a huge win for Romero, as not only has the decorated wrestler won 5 straight since joining the UFC, the victory catapulted him into the #6 ranking spot.
The defeat ended a four fight winning streak for Kennedy, which included big wins over Michael Bisping and Rafael Natal. The loss also cost him a ranking position as Kennedy fell to #7.
Now, usually athletic commissions don’t overturn fights for reasons like this, but hopefully the UFC looks at booking a rematch. After all, it was “FOTN.”
UFC 178 went down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.