Fight fans have seen a lot of bad calls on the part of bad refs and bad judges, but what happened during the Mike Rodriguez vs. Ed Herman fight on Saturday night’s UFC Vegas 10 event may be one of the worst calls in a long time.
Halfway through the second round, Rodriguez hit Herman with some big knees to the midsection that dropped Herman to the ground in pain. Somehow referee Chris Tognoni thought Herman went down on account of a low blow rather than knees to the body, calling a time out and giving Herman a chance to recover from what should have been a TKO stoppage.
In round three, Herman managed to turn the fight around and tap Rodriguez with a kimura ... which would have been a pretty impressive comeback if the ref hadn’t completely botched that second round stoppage. UFC president Dana White was right there with the rest of the world on that ridiculous situation.
“It’s hard not to bang on this guy,” White said about Tognoni during the UFC Vegas 10 post-fight press conference. “The worst I’ve ever seen. He’s f**king Mazzagatti level. That’s some Mazzagatti-level s**t right there. That was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. That kid wins by knockout, technical knockout and loses the fight. It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.”
Now White doesn’t drop ‘Mazzagatti-level’ much, so that really says much as far as how bad of a call this was. Not only did Tognoni blow things with the non-existent low blow call, he refused to take into account the replays showing it was a bad call. Not that he had much of a choice if he wanted the fight to continue ... Nevada is one of those states where the use of instant replay is tied to a fight stoppage.
“I was all over them tonight about replay. We got to have replay, there’s got to be replay,” White said. “All you’ve got to do is look at the f**king replay that’s playing 6,000 times while Herman’s on the ground and say ‘Oh s**t, I made a mistake.’ How you think that is a groin kick is next level nuts. But whatever. It happens. What are you going to do it? It happened.”
Rodriguez and his team are contesting the loss, but we know how commissions often refuse to rectify bad calls like this. Fortunately the screw-up won’t cost him money.
“We’re giving Mike his money too,” White revealed. “He won that f**king fight.”