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Daniel Cormier rages over UFC Vegas 51 fights ending via technical decision: ‘They should have been disqualified’

Two UFC Vegas 51 bouts ended with fight-ending fouls, but were sent to the scorecards instead of being ruled a “No Contest” or “Disqualification.” That didn’t impress commentator Daniel Cormier.

UFC Fight Night: Barnett v Buday Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

It was a wonky weekend of fights across multiple promotions as UFC Vegas 51 saw two fights go to technical decision, a typically rare event when an “unintentional” fight-ending foul past the mid-point of a fight sends the bout directly to scorecards.

The first instance was during the “Prelims” undercard where Martin Buday hit Chris Barnett with a downward elbow to the neck 1.5 minutes into the third round. The doctors ruled that Barnett was unable to continue, but rather than call the fight as a “No Contest” or “Disqualification,” the referee declared the strike unintentional and sent the bout to the judges, who awarded the fight to Buday 30–27x3.

Later on in the third round of the co-main event, Caio Borralho kneed Gadzhi Omargadzhiev in the head while Omargadzhiev’s hand was still touching the ground, making the strike illegal. While the doctor said Omargadzhiev could “continue if he wanted,” the fight was waved off. Once again, the referee decided the blow was unintentional, resulting in the judges rendering a 29–27x3 win for Borralho.

Commentator Daniel Cormier was visibly annoyed with the situation while interviewing Borralho in the cage. Once he stalked out of the cage back to his seat, he laid out his thoughts on the situation via Twitter.

“No knock on Caio or Martin but every single time I threw a strike in the octagon it was intentional,” Cormier wrote. “They both should have been disqualified!”

“So win 2 rounds, throw unintentional illegal strike and then hope they guy can’t continue,” he added. “So that y’all go to judges right then. S—t you don’t run the risk of losing.”

For those who are curious, here’s the text from the Unified Rules of MMA on technical decisions:

If an accidental foul causes an injury severe enough for the referee to stop the bout after ½ of the scheduled rounds, plus one (1) second of the fight has been completed, the bout will result in a TECHNICAL DECISION awarded to the fighter who is ahead on the score cards at the time the bout is stopped.

The big issue with this rule is that referees seem to consider everything but the most blatant of fouls “accidental” (and even those too, many times). Cormier wasn’t the only person with extensive fighting experience to find the whole situation ridiculous.

Here’s some of the other reactions from fighters:

What do you think, Maniacs? Sound off in the comments!


For complete UFC Vegas 51 results and coverage click here.