UFC president Dana White spoke out post-fight to slam referee Leon Roberts for letting Jose Aldo take too much damage in his bantamweight title bid against Petr Yan.
Aldo and Yan went to war for the title made vacant by former champion Henry Cejudo who retired earlier this year. Through three rounds the fight was pretty even. In the championship rounds, Yan began to take over and in round five he got the stoppage victory – although many, including the UFC boss felt it should have come much sooner.
The Russian was delivering countless unanswered strikes from the top position in round five while Aldo remained turtled up and doing very little to improve his position or defend himself. Despite this the referee allowed the fight to drag on until the 3:24 mark before stepping in an waving off the bout.
Speaking post-fight White slammed the “horrible” refereeing display in the bantamweight title fight at UFC 251, he said.
“Horrible, horrible stoppage by the referee. It should’ve been stopped way sooner, you know. It looks like we have to tighten up our refs and judges here in ‘Fight Island.’”
The judges’ issue he is referring to stems from Max Holloway’s controversial loss to featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in the co-main event. For many ‘Blessed’ had done enough to regain his 145lb belt but he instead fell on the wrong side of a split decision result.
White went on to praise Aldo who he thinks looked great against Yan and more than proved himself worthy of a title shot despite not yet having a win at 135lbs.
“I thought Aldo looked great for people that were criticizing him saying he doesn’t deserve another title shot. He fought the next guy lined up for a title shot and he looked damn good doing it, he can do whatever he wants.”
Is Dana White right? Did we see “horrible” refereeing in the Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo fight?