February 22, 2009
As the UFC expands into new markets there are going to be growing pains with officiating and judging. It's still a very small roster of referees and judges who have worked UFC events worldwide. The trip to North Carolina saw some sloppy officiating by UFC newcomer Al Coley when he allowed Ben Saunders to fire off 51 unanswered knees at Brandon Wolff. Was there a problem last night in London? After UFC 95 there has been heavy discussion that three of the fights were ended a bit prematurely. Fighters were on the deck but were never allowed to defend themselves. That said, was it necessary for Josh Koscheck, Stefan Struve and Brian Cobb to be given a chance to fight back?
The debated stoppage was Koscheck the hands of Paulo Thiago. It looked to me like Marc Goddard made the right decision, Gareth A. Davies, who was in attendance from The Telegraph agrees:
From the front row of the media seats, at Octagonside, it looked to be the right decision for the referee to stop the Koscheck-Thiago fight. Koscheck looked gone. He wobbled when he got up, but the fighter has such great physical conditioning, he was soon fully recovered.
A very pissed off Koscheck is beside himself in the lockerroom right after the fight:
Struve was planted by a couple of hard shots but the first one actually looked like it grazed the side of his head. Junior Dos Santos never had to go to the ground as Dan Miragliotta called a halt to the action. Did Struve deserve a shot to defend himself from his back?
Cobb looked like he was out on the way down after a Terry Etim head kick. After watching all three knockouts, the officials did a solid job.
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