When a fighter is getting roughed up in a professional bout and there’s no signs of a turnaround, that fighter’s cornermen are more than likely going to at least think about calling the fight off. Trevor Wittman is one of those cornermen.
At UFC 188, Nate Marquardt was on the receiving end of a beatdown courtesy of Kelvin Gastelum. “The Great” looked exhausted and beat up as he slowly reached his corner at the end of the second round.
Wittman, Marquardt’s coach says he actually tried to call the fight off sooner, but officials wouldn’t allow him to do so (via MMAJunkie.com):
“They grabbed me, and their concern was that people couldn’t see. I’m sitting there swearing at these guys, and they’re like, ‘Get down. No one can stop the fight but the referee or the doctor.’”
The current unified rules allow cornermen to throw in a towel to call a halt to a contest. The problem is, numerous athletic commissions have varying standards on who can put an end to a fight.
In a blog post on his website, Marquardt says on the day of his bout, he was experiencing cramping and sickness to the point where he threw up:
“The day of the fight, I was dealing with some issues. I got some sickness and was dehydrated and cramping in my muscles. Before the fight I threw up and had abdominal cramping. Also I had an issue with my blood pressure probably due to the altitude.”
Wittman says his first priority with his fighters is to look out for their safety. He realizes there are bigger things in life and stopping the fight early was the right thing to do for Marquardt:
“Taking needless damage is not good in this sport. The damage is when it affects your sharpness and the way you perform, and to see him take punishment, that’s longevity and him having kids.”