UFC 210’s pivotal middleweight bout between Chris Weidman and Gegard Mousasi had all the makings of a classic, but things went south when referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the action in the second due to what he believed was an illegal knee.
Weidman, a former UFC middleweight champion, claimed that he was kneed in the face when he had both hands on the ground, causing Miragliotta to intervene and call a timeout. The slow-mo replay, however, proved that the knee was, in fact, legal, as Mousasi lifted Weidman’s hands off the mat when he landed the strike.
After several minutes of confusion amongst the fighters and the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) officials, doctors declared that Weidman was unable to continue and ‘The Dreamcatcher’ was announced as the winner.
The fight was ruled a TKO stoppage, and Weidman is incredibly frustrated with the NYSAC.
“I’m pretty frustrated. First off I don’t want to twist this thing up. I want to give Gegard respect. It was a good fight. It’s nothing to do with him,” Weidman said on Fox Sports 1, per Dave Mandel of Sherdog. “At the end of the day, what was done is completely not right. They called the illegal knee. I was told I had five minutes multiple times. And then, there’s no such thing as instant replay in New York, but they went back to replay and said it was a legal knee. But they’re not allowed to do that. How could it possibly have been a stopped fight?
“You can’t go the direction as it’s a TKO like they stopped the fight because I was hurt. My hands were still on the mat. They stopped it because he thought it was illegal. Once the ref does that, it’s an illegal knee. If he’s telling me it’s an illegal knee, he can’t go to replay and switch it.”
The Serra-Longo product, who was visibly upset in the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, will appeal the loss and has called for an immediate rematch with Mousasi.
“Immediate rematch and appeal. Yeah,” Weidman said. “I want to get three rounds with him fair and square. I want to finish him. I felt great. What happened just sucks for everybody. I feel bad for everybody that was watching at home and out here. Obviously, for me, it was not the way I wanted this thing to turn out. It’s going to be a tough pill to swallow, but I want the right thing to happen. It’s just a messy thing. That rule just got changed. It was like one hand [down], then it was two hands. And then they stopped the fight…I thought my hand was down but apparently, on the replay it wasn’t. But the ref thought it was. You can’t go back by looking at the replay. It’s not legal.”
Mousasi, a former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ, was open to a rematch in the immediate aftermath but changed his stance at the post-fight press conference.
“Weidman didn’t want to fight,” Mousasi said. “The knees were legal. That’s not my fault. Don’t try to take advantage of the rules.”
The loss comes as a devastating blow to Weidman, who has now lost three straight fights by TKO/KO. The 32-year-old is still ranked as the No. 4 middleweight in the world but will likely plummet down the rankings after Saturday night’s controversial result.
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