Stefan Struve and Ben Rothwell competed on the main card of UFC Fight Night Washington DC, a bout that Rothwell won via second round TKO.
Referee Dan Miragliotta seemingly urged Struve to continue competing after receiving two accidental low blows from Rothwell, but Struve says the official did nothing wrong on that occasion.
“I think he was just trying to help me by giving me the information that he had on what was going to happen if I stopped,” Struve said to MMA Junkie. “I don’t think it would’ve changed anything for what I did. He’s a good dude, man. Dan is a really good dude; I like him a lot. He’s reffed a lot of my fights, he’s a good guy and I really think he only tried to help. Like there is no win for him if I continue or stop the fight, there’s nothing that benefits him. He’s just trying to do his job. He knows me for a long, long time, for over 10 years. So people need to get off his back and let him be. Refereeing in MMA is so hard, you need to make split-second decisions. And these kinds of things, like how many times do these things happen? Like how do you deal under pressure with a fighter who was just fouled two times? It’s so tough.”
Rothwell also commented on what Miragliotta said to Struve after the second low blow, stating the referee was just echoing was Struve’s corner was saying.
Struve also believes that there would’ve been no controversy from the fans if the result of the bout had been different.
“They would’ve praised him, but that’s life, that’s what people like to do – they like to talk (expletive),” Struve said. “It doesn’t matter what you do, you can never do right to everybody. So no, man, I thank him, no animosity. We always have a good laugh when we see each other and it is what it is, you can’t change anything about it. I think everyone involved tried to continue the fight with the best intent. It’s just really unfortunate for me the way it played out.”
If Struve hadn’t continued after being on the receiving end of a second low blow, it would’ve resulted in the bout being ruled a no contest.