The co-main event of UFC 164 ended in a bit of controversy at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Saturday night (August 31, 2013). Josh Barnett was putting the wood to Frank Mir in the first round, landing knees and punches from the clinch, before finally earning a referee stoppage when Mir went to the mat after taking a knee to the face.
The referee immediately jumped in and waved off the fight, declaring Barnett the winner. Mir was back to his feet within seconds, protesting what many felt was a premature stoppage.
Frank Mir's take:
Obviously I thought it was a bad stoppage. Sorry, have to watch my language because my daughter is in the crowd. We're fighters. If all the fights were stopped on any sort of a flash shot or anything like that...actually I took the knee and I remember going "sh*t, I'm in a bad position", so that's why I dropped my other knee. So I could fall to the ground to make sure that I didn't take a second one. I didn't belly out, I didn't flatten out. I actually tried to re-dig my underhook so that I can get a single and then I'm looking at the referee stopping it. At first I thought, maybe I was out. "Did I take a bunch of shots that I didn't see?" But after rewatching it, I was conscious the whole time. Even when I stood up, I wasn't wobbled, I was completely coherent. So at best your argument is that it's a flash knockdown. I didn't know fights stopped like that. If that's the case then I never would have beaten Nogueira. I don't think we would have seen Travis Browne knockout Overeem last week. There's too many fights in our sport that are exciting, you gotta let us fight. I didn't sign up for a tennis match. It's nothing against Josh, he's a great fighter and he did what he had to do. I think it was shaping up to be a great fight. I think that the fans got robbed. I got screwed over on the fact that I trained so hard for the fight to keep up a pace that I know I could have driven through for the three rounds. Say what you will about Jackson's camp and gameplan but everyone shows up in shape. I showed up in shape on the scale, I showed up in shape when I went out there. My motivation. It sucks to do everything right and have the door shut on you. Whatever.
Josh Barnett's take:
The potential was there for it to be early. I understood that the ref saw him drop so he assumed that he was out. I come from the outschool, man. I remember watching guys get mounted and getting the crap pounded out of them. They easily would have been stopped now. But then they guy on top gassed, gets reversed, and finished. Every time the referee comes back and he talks to me to give me final instructions, I always go 'don't stop it.' He'll always go 'well, you know...' and I don't care. Let me die. I'm not here to do anything but, so I understand Frank's frustration. I feel like there was no getting out of that, personally, like that was the beginning of the end. But that's how I'm supposed to feel and thank god it wasn't a tennis match, because I'm not that good at tennis.
Dana White's take:
It was a great card tonight. A great card. It's just one of those scenarios like they both said. We saw Frank do the same thing in the Brock Lesnar fight...there's been many fights where we've seen that happen. Josh Barnett was 100% winning that fight. Frank was in a bad position. There's times where I've stood up here and told you guys 'that's ridiculous how many shots the guy took' and then standing up here saying 'well, you could have let Frank take a couple more shots'. Would the outcome have been different? Who knows. It was a great card and then when you see one of those, we've seen times when Mir gets hit and Mir's in trouble and wobbly and then he jumps straight up. Do I think that the outcome would have been different? With the way that the fight was going, it didn't look like it but who knows? I've seen Frankie Edgar in fights that I didn't think he was going to win either and I thought the fight was going to be over and he came back, so who knows. My only beef is that the guys that do tons of fights, make tons of mistakes. I've never seen this guy in my life and he's in the co-main event. That's crazy. I understand that we're in another state. They've got their commission guys too, but they're not as experienced as other guys are and they shouldn't be reffing the co-main event fight.
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