Big John McCarthy Reacts To Controversial UFC Atlantic City Stoppage

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Last weekend’s (Sat., April 21, 2018) UFC Fight Night 128 from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, saw a controversial stoppage unfold when bantamweight Ricky Simon came back from an early round beating against Merab Dvalishvili.

In the fight’s third round, Simon snatched a mounted guillotine choke on a tired Dvalishvili, and the dangerous submission was tight.

Watch the brutal choke right here, which went down to the final seconds of the fight:

At first, it appeared Dvalishvili would survive to the bell and, after out-striking Simon by a wide margin in the opening rounds, most likely win on the judges’ scorecards. Dvalishvili didn’t tap despite being in serious danger, and the fight seemingly came to a close.

However, a cageside discussion amongst officials declared that the fight would be called a TKO victory for Simon after Dvalishvili was deemed to be unconscious at the end of the third round. The video showed that Dvalishvili was indeed in big trouble and exhausted towards the end of the three-round fight, and a heated argument about whether or not it was the correct call predictably erupted online. According to many of the prominent MMA referees questioned, it seems the consensus is that referee Liam Kerrigan and the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board made the right call last weekend.

The biggest name in refereeing for the sport – legendary UFC referee and current Bellator commentator “Big” John McCarthy – discussed the strange scenario with fans on Twitter last night, saying that the right outcome was made, but the wrong result was recording with a TKO:

McCarthy even responded to Ariel Helwani’s clarification of the situation, forcefully declaring it should have been a technical submission result:

“Big” John also cleared up any doubt in his mind that Dvalishvili was out, detailing the exact moment when he went out not once but twice in the fight:

Earlier in the night, McCarthy had a somewhat angry, somewhat humorous response to a fan who asked him if being saved by the bell was a real thing in MMA as it was in boxing: