Dominick Cruz claims UFC 249 referee Keith Peterson smelt like “alcohol and cigarettes” in the cage

Dominick Cruz, Marlon Moraes

UFC bantamweight contender Dominick Cruz accused referee Keith Peterson of smelling like “alcohol and cigarettes” in the UFC 249 co-main event.

Cruz suffered a second-round TKO loss to Henry Cejudo in a failed bid to re-capture the UFC bantamweight title. The finish was not without controversy as many felt Peterson stopped the fight too soon after Cejudo dropped Cruz with a knee and then swarmed him with punches. Some believe the referee made a good call in stopping the fight when he did, but others including Cruz himself believe it was a bad call.

Speaking to the media following UFC 249, Cruz said he was frustrated with the stoppage and then accused the ref Peterson of smelling like “alcohol and cigarettes.”

Dominick Cruz on the #UFC249 post-fight show claims referee Keith Peterson “smelled like alcohol and cigarettes” during his fight. Said he wanted to have referee changed when he stepped in the cage.

Peterson is considered by many to be one of the best referees in all of mixed martial arts, so for Cruz to accuse him of being under the influence during this fight is a very surprising thing to say. Peterson is usually praised for his excellent work inside the Octagon, and while Cruz may not have liked the stoppage, the is one serious accusation.

It’s possible the Florida State Boxing Commission looks into this more, and UFC president Dana White could take a look into things himself. But the fact of the matter is Cruz was finished in his first appearance since December 2016 by Cejudo, who immediately retired after the bout. Cruz could potentially stick around and get right back into the bantamweight title mix with another win, but perhaps this could mark the end of the road for the former 135lbs kingpin — this time, for good.

What do you think is next for Dominick Cruz?