Veteran referee Jason Herzog appears to have apologized for his late stoppage in the UFC Jacksonville main event between Glover Teixeira and Anthony Smith on Wednesday, which saw Smith beaten to a bloody pulp before Teixeira finished him with ground-and-pound in the fifth round.
Herzog and Smith’s cornermen have come under fire for not stopping the fight after ‘Lionheart’ told his corner that his teeth were falling out, and Herzog seems to have accepted the blame and taken full responsibility for not stopping the bout earlier.
Herzog posted the following statement on Twitter which, according to MMA Fighting, is the ref’s real account.
“This sport of MMA is beautiful, it’s pure,” Herzog posted on Friday. “And an incredible teacher. Some lessons are more harsh than others. I’ve seen a lot of opinions about what should have (happened), who was at fault.
“But let me be clear, there is only one person to blame. Me.
“I am responsible for each fighter I am entrusted to oversee. I will take this experience, make the necessary changes, and get better.”
Smith lost multiple teeth during the bout and may have suffered facial fractures. The former UFC light heavyweight title challenger received a mandatory 60-day suspension by the Florida State Boxing Commission but could face a longer suspension pending further medical evaluation.
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