Edmen Shahbazyan suffered the first loss of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career this past weekend (Sat., Aug. 1, 2020) at UFC Vegas 5, losing to Derek Brunson via third round knockout inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
But, the fight almost never made it out of the second round after Brunson dropped some bombs on “The Golden Boy” in the closing seconds. And with another second or two, Shahbazyan could have very well been toast.
Before round three began, referee Herb Dean called for time to allow the cageside doctor to check on Shahbazyan. It was a move that didn’t sit too well with UFC President, Dana White, who told reporters during the post-fight presser that the doctor took too much time inspecting the fighter and to come to a decision about letting him continue. It was his indecisiveness that prompted White to believe that he doesn't have a ton of experience.
“Shahbazyan looked like he was out at the end of that round,” White said (via MMA Fighting). “Think that the doctor could have stopped it. First of all, the doctor’s obviously inexperienced; I don’t know anything about the doctor, but I haven’t seen him before.
“You’ve got Brunson, who ends that round strong, [and] many could argue that fight could have been stopped right there at the end of the round,” White continued. “I’m sure ref thought the guy would have time to go back [and recover].”
The other problem White had was that Shahbazyan got more time to recover, which could have stolen the momentum and adrenaline Brunson had going after nearly getting the job done.
“What you don’t do is talk to the guy for f**king 10 minutes while he’s hurt,” he said. “Either stop the fight, or let him continue but go. You’re letting the kid recover while you’ve got Brunson, who just did that work, and he’s waiting for the bell to ring so that he can go in and finish the fight. Pull the trigger one way or the other. Stop the fight or don’t.”
Fortunately it didn’t affect Brunson too much — he went on to finish Shahbazyan in the final round to score his third straight win, handing “The Golden Boy” the first loss of his pro career, which also put a big damper in his championship aspirations.
Do you think White has a legit gripe here?