You know there were some questionable calls made at UFC 251 when one of the first things UFC President, Dana White, says at the post-fight press conference is, “looks like we’ve got to tighten up our refs and judges here on ‘Fight Island.’”
The two biggest controversies came in the forms of the Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway decision and the late stoppage in the Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo fight. For this article I’m going to focus on the Yan vs. Aldo stoppage ... or more accurately, I’m going to let Joe Rogan and his “Fight Companion” co-hosts focus on the Yan vs. Aldo stoppage.
You may have noticed that Rogan was nowhere to be seen on “Fight Island,” which isn’t that surprising since he made the decision to stop working international events years ago. Add an extensive Coronavirus quarantine procedure in the mix and he’d rather stick to quick in-and-out comedy tours of Texas instead. So for this event Rogan was tucked comfortably into his podcast studio with special co-hosts Joey Diaz and Tony Hinchcliff.
“The COVID crew cannot make it,” Rogan explained at the start of the show. “Bryan Callen’s still coughing, not doing so good. Brendan Schaub is 100 percent, he even tested negative. But, there’s a 14 day mandatory quarantine, b*tch. You gotta take it.”
It was definitely more subdued without Schaub, Callen and Eddie Bravo in the house. And things got almost painfully grim at the end of the Yan vs. Aldo fight after Yan smashed Aldo’s face open with an elbow and pounded on him for a full 1.5 minutes before the ref finally stopped the fight.
“It’s over. He just can’t take it any more. He’s basically just hanging on here. That was a big elbow, look at all the blood, man. F**k. Oh my god, look at his face. Dude, Yan is no joke. Look at him hammering. Stop the fight! Stop the fight!”
From there it goes on to all three men repeating variations on ”stop the fight” for a long, long time.
“That poor Aldo,” Diaz exclaimed.
“Obviously, ‘Fight Island’ is not New York City,” Hinchcliff said. “These are different rules out there. Every time we watch fights in New York it seems like they’re always stopped very quickly. Clearly, Abu Dhabi ...”
“They don’t give a f**k,” Joey Diaz said. “They’re not stopping ‘til an eye comes out.”
“There was no reason he had to take all those shots,” Rogan said before sighing long and hard. “A guy’s gotta do something to improve his position. Just sitting there like that, covering up and getting hammered in the head? It’s not enough.”
“Damn, Petr Yan is no f**king joke.”
“That referee had five bucks on Aldo,” Hinchcliff said.