In back-to-back weeks, UFC President Dana White has left an event fuming about a stoppage. This time, it was after Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Sarah Alpar at UFC Vegas 11.
White called a third-round TKO win for Clark a “horrible situation” and said UFC VP of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner is “all over” the commission on how to clarify rules on instant replay.
Tognoni called to use replay after Alpar took a knee to the face that appeared to be a possible foul. When he determined there was no foul, he restarted the bout, and Clark continued to batter a bloodied Alpar until he called it off at the 4:21 mark of the third round.
The Nevada Athletic Commission subsequently released a statement clarifying that Clark’s knee was a legal strike, and Togoni was within his rights to confirm its legality and then restart the bout because he hadn’t officially stopped it. When Alpar signaled she could continue, the action went on.
According to White, the fight should have been over when Alpar’s blow was ruled legal.
“So the fight’s over,” he said. “The fight should have been over. That fight should have been over just like last week. She got finished, she got stopped. If you have to jump in and look at her and do anything – her nose was broken. It was a finish. That should have been a finish.”
White struck a similar stance this past week at UFC Vegas 10, where a bout between Ed Herman and Mike Rodriguez ended in a controversial win for Herman. Moments before Herman submitted Rodriguez, he was hit with a knee to the body that Tognoni ruled an accidental foul to the groin. White later paid Rodriguez his show and win money, calling the call one of the worst things he’s ever seen.
This time around, White said the promotion will seek to fix things behind the scenes, even though the commission has made clear its position that the right call was made.
“It’s just something that needs to be worked out,” White said. “When you get stopped, and these kids are so tough – that poor little girl fought her ass off again after she was able to continue. It just needs to be fixed. They’ve got to figure this out.”
Rodriguez’s manager has appealed the fighter’s loss to Herman to the NAC. But the commission requires a very specific list of actions – scoring errors, collusion or a referee misinterpreting the rules – to overturn a decision.
White said he is in favor of using instant replay, but only when it brings resolution to confusing mid-fight situations – not when one opponent benefits over another.
“I’m in favor of whatever is going to be fair,” he said. “If somebody won a fight, like last week should have been stopped. Thank god, she didn’t turn around and lose the fight this week. It’s just crazy.”