Is It Time For More Consistency When Fights End With Controversy?

Is It Time For More Consistency When Fights End With Controversy?


At UFC Fight Night 30 we saw the co-main between Ross ‘The Real Deal’ Pearson and Melvin ‘The Young Assassin’ Guillard end abruptly because of an illegal knee. As Pearson (15-6-1 MMA, 7-3-1 UFC) attempted to throw a flying knee Guillard (31-12-2-2, 12-8-1 UFC) countered the strike, throwing Pearson onto one knee against the cage. 

As Pearson attempted to get up Guillard moved in and threw two knees in quick succession to his face. The first was unclear, but referee Mark Goddard had no doubt about the second, which hit a downed Pearson. 

Goddard jumped in to halt the contest, declaring an illegal knee had landed. As Pearson emerged from the ground he had a nasty gash on his head that officials deemed too serious for Pearson to continue. 

As the fighters lined up for the official results, Bruce Buffer declared the bout a No-Contest due to an accidental strike. 

Pearson was unable to continue due to an illegal strike, so why the no contest? An illegal strike is an illegal strike, accidental or not. Why not a disqualification for Guillard? 

At UFC 159 this April we watched as Michael Bisping’s bout with Alan Belcher was stopped at the end of the third round with an accidental eye poke from ‘The Count.’ 

Belcher was unable to continue, so the contest was stopped. Unlike the Guillard vs. Pearson fight, it was decided that being so late in the final round the bout would go to an early decision, which Bisping picked up unanimously.

Inconsistent? Both bouts end in an accidental foul but one goes to an early decision while the other was ruled a no contest. It’s not the first time the UFC has showed inconsistency around fights ending with an ‘accidental foul’.

Going even further back to December 2009 at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale, we see the same inconsistency. That night, a fight between current light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Matt Hamill was stopped due to an accidental strike. The result was different than both of the previously mentioned bouts.

Jones was disqualified in that fight. After hammering ‘The Hammer’ for four minutes, Jones was in full mount trying to finish his opponent when he landed an illegal 12-6 elbow. Hamill was ruled unable to continue (though he probably wouldn’t have been able to without the elbow either).

The result put a dent on his previously undefeated record. Wouldn’t it have been more fitting to make it a No-Contest like the Guillard/Pearson fight? There would have been more reason to justify that decision, as Jones was clearly dominating and about to finish the bout.  The Pearson vs. Guillard fight was even up until the point of controversy.

The UFC needs to introduce stricter guidelines for officials so they know what action should definitively be taken when an accidental foul occurs. Depending on how it’s weighed, there could have been three different results for either Pearson or Guillard at the end of their bout. 

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  • Ivy

    You're right, it should have been a DQ. More consistency indeed, and since Melvin – albeit likely by accident – threw the illegal knee and changed the outcome for Pearson, Pearson should have gotten the W.

  • thexperience1

    "An illegal strike is an illegal strike, accidental or not."

    Sure it is… but it being accidental or intentional makes a big difference. Fighters get their cup kicked all the time too. Should they all get a point deduction when that happens? Even if they throw the kick aimed at the leg and their opponent turns into it and it lands in the nuts? I don't think so! Same with that Guillard situation… You shouldn't be playing that stupid touch the ground game in a fight! He should've been focused on protecting himself and/or getting a better position instead of putting his hand down hoping he'd touch the ground before a knee landed. That sh*t is stupid and sure as hell does not deserve a disqualification! If anything Guillard should've took the TKO win. It's a stupid rule anyway and abuse of the rule should be just as punishable as violating it (especially when it's clearly accidental!).

  • HolyGrimace666

    ohh this is a nasty topic. good article evans.. its definitely gotta be more stricter and consistent but i think it depends on the blow. jones' 12-6 was definitely a dangerous move and should be a DQ. the eye poke should have been NC and that knee should have been another DQ but its a bit more controversial because while jones had time to think about his 12-6, guillard had a millisecond to decide if he was downed or not.

    i think it depends on the foul.