UFC 194, which featured a co-main event between Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold for the middleweight championship, has been celebrated as one of the most successful UFC events of all-time. However, the pay-per-view wasn’t without its controversy.
Rockhold brutally TKO’d Weidman in the fourth round to become the new UFC 185 lbs. champion. And, despite AKA head coach Javier Mendez celebrating his student’s victory, the former kickboxer is furious with the stoppage.
Mendez and many other fans believed the fight should have been waved off in the third round. Referee Herb Dean has been bombarded with criticism following the bout, but Mendez doesn’t think the 45-year-old should be blamed.
The California-based trainer spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour on Monday.
“Well, let’s put it this way, I was cussing,” Mendez said. “I was cussing. I was literally, just, f-ing pissed. And I’m not really blaming Herb, per se. I’m blaming the way the system is. It needs to be like boxing where we as corners don’t have to go to the doctor to stop the damn fight, where we just stand up in the cage or whatever and we throw the towel and the fight is over. It should be a simplified rule, just like boxing.”
Mendez believes the coaches should be able to throw in the towel without being penalized. It is currently illegal for cornermen to throw a towel into the Octagon in Nevada and other states.
“Who knows the fighters better than the coaches, as far as what the fights can do and what they can’t do? Who knows them better? We do. Not the doctor, not the refs. We do. If we see our fighter and we know he’s going to take a beating, we should be able to throw the damn towel and without any interruptions from the doctor or anybody. And we shouldn’t be reprimanded from it.”
Weidman, who lost his title after defending it three times, insists he’s fine and claims the loss will reinvigorate his career. “I will remember this moment for ever. It has already changed me for the better,” Weidman posted on Instagram shortly after the loss. “The motivation I have inside myself has never been stronger.
Rockhold is expected to face Yoel Romero in his first title defense, after the Cuban defeated “Jacare” Souza to cement himself as the #1 contender.
(Transcriptions via MMA Fighting)
About the author