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Video: Referee ruins fun fight with controversial early stoppage - ‘It’s heartbreaking’ | UFC Vegas 75

Referee Keith Peterson ruined a “Prelims” bout between bantamweights Dan Argueta and Ronnie Lawrence earlier tonight (Sat., June 17, 2023) at UFC Vegas 75 live on ESPN/ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, when the veteran fight caller caused a premature submission stoppage.

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HIGH STAKES LIGHTWEIGHT MATCHUP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC APEX on Sat., Sept. 23, 2023, with a high stakes 155-pound showdown as No. 6-ranked contender, Rafael Fiziev, takes on No. 7-seeded Mateusz Gamrot. In UFC Vegas 79’s co-main event, No. 12-ranked Featherweight contender, Bryce Mitchell, steps back into the Octagon against No. 13-seeded Dan Ige.

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Argueta gained the upper hand early on, scored a takedown, and ended up in top control. The bantamweight prospect would eventually lock up a tight choke, but Lawrence fought well to break it up. Argueta locked up another choke and Lawrence was trying to wiggle free. Peterson grabbed his arm to see if he was still conscious, but when the referee let go Lawrence’s arm snapped back down causing his hand to tap Argueta’s back.

Peterson saw this and called a stop to the fight. Little did he know he caused the tap and the submission for Argueta. Upon replay, the referee saw what he had done and was visibly embarrassed. The bout was ruled a No Contest and probably caused a lot of frustration for eager UFC gamblers.

Check out the final moments above courtesy of UFC/ESPN. More footage below:

After the premature stoppage and video replay, UFC color commentator and former UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz, had a field day with Peterson’s ill-advised maneuver. Cruz and Peterson already share a turbulent and very smelly past so it wasn’t surprising to hear Cruz lay into him just a little bit.

“He’s not tapping. He’s not tapping,” said Cruz while watching the replay. “Then watch Peterson grab his hand and pull it. And then he pulls it back to touch. He pulls his hand back.

“It wasn’t a tap. It was an adjustment of Keith Peterson pulling his hand.”

After the official review and No Contest ruling, Cruz had more to say about Peterson’s decision.

“I think you got to take a point from the judge and the ref, right?” joked Cruz. “You take a point. So you got a point taken. Now what happens? Nothing. Nothing happens. Just the fighters take the hit.

“These guys put so much work in, too. It’s rough. It’s heartbreaking.”

For complete UFC Vegas 75 results, coverage, and highlights click HERE.

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