Controversy founds it’s way into UFC Vegas 11 when referee Chris Tognoni halted a fight between Jessica-Rose Clark and Sarah Alpar when it appeared that Clark had nailed Alpar with an illegal knee strike.
The knee strike was deemed legal and the fight would continue on, but UFC President Dana White believes the referee shouldn’t have allowed Alpar to continue fighting due to the damage from the legal knee strike.
“It’s a horrible situation,” White said after the event (via Mike Bohn & John Morgan of MMA Junkie). “Fight should’ve been over. That fight should’ve been over just like last week. She got finished. She got stopped. If you have to jump in and look at her and do anything – her nose was broken. That was a finish. That should’ve been a finish. I know Marc Ratner is all over this. It’s just something that needs to be worked out. When you get stopped, and these kids are so tough and durable. That poor little girl fought her ass off again after she was able to continue. This just needs to be fixed. They gotta figure this out.”
A member of the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) did issue a statement to Aaron Bronsteter of TSN after the bout:
“It was a legal strike. They paused the fight because they thought it was a knee to a grounded opponent. They went to the replay and confirmed that it was a legal strike. The fight was never officially stopped. Sarah Alpar was asked if she could continued and she wanted to continue, she said, ‘Yes.’ Under NAC rules, the bout can continue after the replay since the fight was only temporarily paused and never officially stopped.”
White is happy that this weekend’s controversial fight didn’t end up like the bout at UFC Vegas 10 between Mike Rodriguez and Ed Herman.
“I’m in favor of whatever’s gonna be fair,” White said. “If someone won a fight, like last week should’ve been stopped. Thank God (Clark) didn’t turn around and lose the fight this week. It’s just crazy.”
There is no word yet if any action will get taken against Tognoni, who was also the ref for the controversial Herman vs. Rodriguez bout at UFC Vegas 10.