After landing an illegal knee during their UFC Vegas 21 bout on Saturday, UFC middleweight Eryk Anders took to social media to apologize to opponent Darren Stewart for the error.
Referee Herb Dean ruled the fight a No Decision after Anders landed an illegal knee following a knockdown of Stewart late in the first round. It was an unfortunate end to a quick turnaround for Anders after struggling to counter Stewart earlier in the fight.
“I’m tremendously disappointed,” Anders said in his post-fight press conference. “I sacrificed a lot for this camp, it was the best weight cut I’ve ever had and was a complete lapse of judgment in the heat of the moment.”
After landing the illegal knee, there was a break in the action to evaluate Stewart’s condition. Although Stewart wanted to keep the fight going, the responding doctor overruled and the bout was called off.
UFC Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner said afterward that the No Decision in the Anders-Stewart fight was due to the fight not lasting two full rounds, along with the knee being determined as accidental.
Both fighters came into the bout with something to prove in the UFC’s Middleweight division. Anders made his return to the octagon after a 10-month hiatus following his loss to Krzysztof Jotko, while Stewart looked to rebound after a close split-decision loss to rising star Kevin Holland.
The conversation over illegal knees in Mixed Martial Arts has skyrocketed after the abrupt ending to Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 last Saturday.
It is unclear at the moment what is next for both middleweights following the anticlimactic ending to their bout. The UFC brass could schedule an immediate rematch between Anders and Stewart, or continue to move the talent-rich Middleweight division forward.
Do you feel the correct decision was made to rule the fight a No Decision? What do you think is next for Eryk Anders and Darren Stewart?