Nate Marquardt lost to Kelvin Gastelum by way of technical knockout (TKO) at the UFC 188 pay-per-view (PPV) event last Saturday (June 13, 2015) in Mexico City, after the fight was stopped -- on the advice of the "Great" corner -- between rounds two and three.
But if it was up to coach Trevor Wittman, it would have ended much sooner.
Unfortunately for Marquardt, who admitted to suffering from abdominal cramps and blood pressure issues prior to the bout, officials prevented Wittman from intervening during the actual fight, and yanked the concerned cornerman from the canvas because he was blocking the view.
"Taking needless damage is not good in this sport," Wittman told MMA Junkie. "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.'"
Or the grim reaper.
Here's an excerpt on fight stoppages from the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA):
The referee is the sole arbiter of a contest and is the only individual authorized to stop a contest. The referee may take advice from the ringside physician and/or the Commission with respect to the decision to stop a contest.
The referee and the ringside physician are the only individuals authorized to enter the ring/fighting area at any time during competition other than the rest periods and subsequent to the contest ending.
The full list of rules and regulations here.
The 36-year-old Marquardt (33-15-2) has now dropped five of his last six and has not looked competitive in nearly three years. The good news is, "The Great" will continue to compete in combat sports because he talked to God and that's what God wants him to do.
Better God than the devil, I suppose.