A referee’s mistake ended Chris Weidman’s night early as the former UFC middleweight champion was handed a controversial defeat Saturday at UFC 210 in Buffalo.
LI’s Weidman was defeated by Gegard Mousasi via TKO at 3:13 of the second round after the fight was incorrectly stopped by referee Dan Miragliotta.
The mistake occurred while Mousasi held Weidman’s upper body in a grappling exchange on the feet. Weidman put both hands on the ground to avoid a kick or knee to his head, which are illegal to a grounded opponent. But as Mousasi threw a knee, he lifted Weidman’s hand off the ground, making the shots legal. When Mousasi did it a second time, Miragliotta stepped in, incorrectly calling the shots illegal. Weidman was initially given time to recover, but after the referee and commission members realized the mistake, they consulted and determined Weidman should not have been given time to recover, ending the fight despite Weidman’s protests.
“I put my hands down because I knew he would throw the knee,” Weidman told the crowd in his post-fight interview. “I don’t know what to say. I love you guys, I can’t believe this happened, I’m so sorry.”
It was a disappointing end for two fighters looking to get in the middleweight title picture. After the bout, Mousasi said he’d be willing to give Weidman a rematch “no problem.”
Weidman (13-3, 9-3 UFC) was cruising in the first round, successfully landing takedowns and avoiding Mousasi’s diverse strikes. Mousasi (42-6-2, 9-3 UFC) began to open up in the second round, landing his jab and working some combinations, but Weidman was able to control the grappling until the controversial blows.