Chris Weidman managed to make it out of round three at UFC 194, but as we know, the opportunity he was given by referee Herb Dean to mount a comeback didn’t pan out. Far from it.
Weidman’s bout with Luke Rockhold on Saturday was fairly competitive up until round three, when after the action spilled to the mat, the latter pounded the champ into a bloody mess with punches and elbows. It looked like Dean was going to stop the bout on a couple of occasions, but the veteran ref didn’t. Weidman came out for round four, but again, he was taken down and then put away with strikes.
Since the memorable bout, there’s been plenty of debate as to whether the fight should have been stopped in round three. Some believe Dean did the right thing, by giving Weidman a chance, in what was a massive fight. Others, however, think Weidman endured way too much punishment as a result of the fight being extended. Rockhold’s coach, Javier Mendez, is clearly in the latter camp.
Mendez appeared on “The MMA Hour” recently, and during the interview, he talked in length about how the fight played out. Here is just some of what Mendez had to say (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“It shouldn’t be looked down upon,” Mendez said, before referring to the fact that in Nevada, where the fight took place, corners cannot throw in the towel. They have to appeal to officials, who then in turn, tell the referee. “If that’s the official rule, then it should be that, ‘hey, you guys, we encourage you. Know your fighters. Don’t let your fighters take the punishment.’ In this case, I bet you Ray Longo and Matt Serra were thinking, ‘f**k, I want to throw in the towel.’ I bet you they were. I bet you they weren’t thinking, ‘come on, Chris, pull out of it.’ I bet you they were thinking, ‘what the f**k is going on?!’
“They care so much about their guys and they’re such great coaches, I know they were thinking the same thing. There should be a clear understanding of how we need to stop these fights, because Chris didn’t need to take that unnecessary punishment. He did not. And I dare anybody to disagree with me.”
There you have it. It would be interesting to hear Weidman’s take on Dean’s decision, and whether the star believes he was even capable of launching a comeback.