Tim Kennedy: John McCarthy F—-d Up Majorly In My Fight; He Got Owned

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Tim Kennedy nearly picked up his fourth straight UFC victory at Saturday’s (September 27, 2014) UFC 178 from Las Vegas. “The Sniper” had Yoel Romero on the ropes with a late second round barrage of uppercuts that would have certainly lead to a stoppage had the round not ended.

But then came the now infamous “Stoolgate” where Romero’s corner took an extra 28 seconds wiping Vaseline off of a huge cut over Romero’s eye, leaving the stool in the cage all the while until referee John McCarthy struggled to take control of the confusing situation.

Kennedy lost from some heavy shots in the third round, and he’s now planning to appeal the loss to the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC). Despite NAC Executive Director Bob Bennett stating that the result is unlikely to be overturned, Kennedy is still speaking out on the controversy.

He appeared on today’s episode of The MMA Hour to describe the strange unfolding at UFC 178:

“Man, I thought the fight was over twice. If anybody is to blame, it’s totally me for the outcome. Someone has to step up and be the bigger guy in all of this. Dana knows he cheated, the Nevada commission knows he cheated. His corner knows they cheated.

They are bragging about it, Liborio is coming up and apologizing, Yoel comes to me in the back and apologizes. They all know what happened. It’s the oldest trick in the book. This is beyond unprofessional and tragic. I though the fight had ended. When John came in, I thought that was the end of the fight. I see my corner coming in with the stool, I see his corner working on him, and I’m like, ‘What’s going on?”

Kennedy was understandably miffed by what Romero’s corner did and how it was handled. He took the stance that if he would have had an extra 28 seconds to tee off on Romero, then the “Soldier of God” would be badly injured.

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At the end of the day, however, Kennedy said the travesty made him mentally check out of the fight. That was when he mistakenly rushed in and was knocked out for his momentary lapse:

“If he gets 28 seconds to recover, imagine if I had an extra 28 seconds at the end of round two. The guy wouldn’t be walking for a month. But no, John gave him an extra 28 seconds. I was gone, I wasn’t even mentally there anymore and that was a big mistake on my part. I thought the fight was over not once, but twice. So I rushed in and made a huge mistake. I was gone. I was thinking it was the end, I wasn’t even thinking about fighting.”

But despite his willingness to admit what he did wrong, Kennedy believes the onus is ultimately on McCarthy, the longtime MMA official whom he thinks got “owned” by the situation on Saturday night:

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He (McCarthy) fucked up majorly in my fight. For being the best ref in the world, he got owned that night by a bunch of guys doing shady things. He got played by all three of them. He just let it happen. Before the fight, I told John, ‘If I hurt him, he is going to start playing cheap, I promise.’ He said, ‘Is this my first day working here?’

I told him,’No it’s not.’

When Derek Brunson hurt him, he punched him right in the balls. It wasn’t even close; he punched him right in the dick. When he gets hurt, he fouls intentionally. So I was ready for it, but I was trying to get John ready for it, and obviously he wasn’t. He got owned.”

Kennedy may have a good point about the controversial nature of some of Romero’s fights, but he is not without some controversy himself, as footage showed him grabbing Romero’s gloves to land the uppercuts that hurt “Solider of God.”

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That may pale in comparison to the time-stalling tactics of Romero’s corner, or the confusion-inciting activity to the UFC’s cut man who applied a huge amount of Vaseline on Romero’s eye.

It was pretty plain to see that Romero was out on his feet, and any time he was given to recover was beyond valuable at the time. Kennedy believes “Big John’ was the culprit in this fiasco, but it looks like there are more sides to the story than just one.

When will the “Sniper” move on from this controversy-plagued defeat? Does he deserve a rematch with Romero?

Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports