March 08, 2009
With two different instances of questionable refereeing at UFC 96, UFC president Dana White was disgusted with the officiating. At the post-fight press conference, he said that he felt bad for Aaron Riley, the fighter who lost to Shane Nelson after referee Rick Fike stopped the fight when Nelson merely knocked Riley down.
"You feel bad for these guys who have trained, and traveled, and then it ends like that," White said.
White was just as upset about the slow ending to the Matt Brown TKO over Pete Sell. Brown dominated Sell, knocking him down early, and dominating him for the rest of the fight. More than once, Brown looked at referee Yves Levigne, as if to ask, "What more do I need to do?" White said that he hurt his arm from banging it on the Octagon and yelling to stop the fight.
The quick stoppage early from Fike may have played a part in Levigne's slow stoppage later on. White said that he wants to see referees take control of the fight, and be stronger in their decisions. They should not let the crowd affect their ideas. He also intimated that we would see more bad reffing during the upcoming season of the Ultimate Fighter.
Though White called the reffing and judging one of the hardest things in the sport right now, he didn't think all was bleak. He believes that there are some good referees, as he mentions in this video of the press conference. Normally, he'd include Levigne in that group, as well as Herb Dean and Mario Yamasaki.
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