For those who didn’t see the fight for themselves, it ended when Mousasi nailed Weidman with a pair of knee strikes to the head that were originally deemed illegal by referee Dan Miragliotta. Moments after Weidman was being checked by doctors for the illegal knee strikes, instant replay showed that the strikes were deemed not illegal, which was relayed to the referee. Miragliotta then went to the doctors and Weidman to tell them that the fight must continue, but the doctors deemed Weidman unable to continue and that prompted the referee to award the fight to Mousasi via second round TKO.
UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson has now voiced his opinion on the controversy.
“You gotta take a look back at this sport of mixed martial arts,” Johnson said to MMA Fighting. “If a man can hold his hands down on the ground and stop my actions, to progress to finish, you gotta take a look at the rules. I think it’s a stupid rule. I think PRIDE and DREAM had it correct that you can knee them in the head if they’re down like that. A true downed person is someone with their knee down. It’s unfortunate. You’re playing with fire when you play that role. ‘Big’ John McCarthy, every time he’s got me, he goes, ‘if you put your hand down, if you’re going to play that game, expect to get kneed in the head.’”
Johnson will be defending the gold against Wilson Reis in the main event of this weekends UFC On Fox 24 card.
The champion isn’t just talking about the controversy, but he has also experienced it himself.
“I’ve had the same thing happen when I fought John Dodson for the first time,” Johnson said. “He was playing that game. When you play that game you’re just asking for trouble.”
UFC On Fox 24 takes place on Saturday, April 15 from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri with Demetrious Johnson and Wilson Reis headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event.