At UFC 194 this past weekend (Sat., Dec. 12, 2015), Luke Rockhold dominated Chris Weidman en route to a fourth round technical knockout (TKO) victory to claim the Middleweight title in the pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event of the evening.
However, for many watching the title fight, popular belief was the bout should've been stopped in the closing minute of round three after Rockhold busted "All American" wide open and proceeded to ground-and-pound him into a bloody mess (see it here).
Referee Herb Dean, though, gave Weidman all the chances to survive before the round came to an end. As Javier Mendez -- Rockhold's trainer -- sees it, Weidman took way too much unnecessary punishment from his fighter.
But, he isn't mad at Dean for not putting an end to the beatdown, he's mad at the system that doesn't allow for a corner to throw in the towel.
A very heated Mendez explained his stance earlier this week on "The MMA Hour:"
"Let's put it this way, I was cussing. I was cussing. I was literally just effing pissed, you know? And I'm not really blaming Herb per say, I am blaming the way the system works. It needs to be like boxing where we as corners don't have to go to the doctor to stop the damn fight and we can just stand up on the cage and the fight, or we throw in the towel. It should be a simplified rule just like boxing. Who knows the fighters better than the coaches, as far as what the fighters can do or can't do? Who knows them better? We do. Not the doctor, not the refs, we do. If we see our fighter and he's taking a beating, we should be able to throw in the damn towel without interruption from a doctor or anybody. And we shouldn't be reprimanded for it. If anybody should be pissed off about it's our fighter for throwing in the towel. Let us deal with that. I'm really angry about that because in Mexico, Scott Jorgensen was in the same scenario and I was like, 'dammit,' you know? This is a sport and when you see things like that it doesn't make it too sporty for me. I am sorry that I'm angry about it, but it just angers me that fighters are getting injured more than they need to because of one stupid rule that prohibits us from doing a simple thing like boxing does. It (throwing in the towel) shouldn't be looked down upon, if that isn't an official rule, then they should be like, 'hey guys we encourage you to not let your fighter take punishment.' In this case, I bet you Ray Longo and Matt Serra were thinking, 'Fuck I want to throw in the towel.' I bet you they were. I bet you they weren't thinking 'Oh, come on Chris pull out of it.' I bet you they were thinking 'What the fuck is going on?' They care so much about their fighter and they are such great coaches, I know they were thinking that. There needs to be a better way to stop these fights. Chris did not need to take that extra punishment, he did not. And I dare anyone to disagree with me."
Judging by this picture, Mendez has a very valid argument. But, then again, Longo already made it clear that he and Weidman have a pre-arranged agreement to not intervene regardless of the brutal circumstances (read more on that here).
Even if Longo felt the urge, according to Section 13 of the unified rules of mixed martial arts (MMA) , the referee and ringside physician are the only ones with the power to stop a fight.
When asked if he would've stopped the bout if the roles were reversed, Mendez said he would do it in a heartbeat and he would deal with the consequences with his fighter "man to man." And while Mendez supports Rockhold's request for a fight against Vitor Belfort (read more on that here), he is also very much in favor of an immediate rematch against Weidman.
Any of you agree with Mendez in that cornermen should be allowed to put an end to a fight if they see fit?