UFC president Dana White ripped referee Leon Roberts for a “horrible” stoppage in the Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo vacant bantamweight title fight.
After Yan and Aldo split the first two rounds, Yan started to pull away as he won the third and fourth rounds, and then in the fifth, he made it clear who the superior fighter was as he beat Aldo to a pulp. It was hard to watch as Yan rained down hundreds of punches on Aldo’s head, only to see the referee Roberts refuse to stop the fight. Fans, media, and fighters on social media were upset about the stoppage, and rightfully so, and it appeared that the fight could have been stopped far sooner and Aldo could have been saved damage.
White was also quite upset about the late stoppage and ripped Roberts during the post-fight press conference.
“Horrible, horrible stoppage by the referee. It should’ve been stopped way sooner, you know. It looks like we have to tighten up our refs and judges here in ‘Fight Island,'” White said (via MMAjunkie.com).
Referee Leon Roberts is one of the top officials out of Europe and has served as a referee for many UFC fights in the past. Normally he isn’t the kind of referee who has been criticized, but for this fight, he absolutely deserved all the criticism he received. The fight was stopped far too late and Aldo took way more punishment than was necessary. The fifth round was easily a 10-8 round for Yan and was borderline 10-7 before the stoppage came.
As for Aldo, despite losing his last three fights, White said that he doesn’t want to see him retire just yet. In fact, the UFC bossman said he was impressed with Aldo’s performance in a loss and said that he proved everyone wrong who said that he didn’t deserve to be fighting for the title against Yan.
“I thought Aldo looked great for people that were criticizing him saying he doesn’t deserve another title shot,” White said.
“He fought the next guy lined up for a title shot and he looked damn good doing it, he can do whatever he wants.”
As for Yan, this was by far the best performance of his career. For his next fight, it seems likely he will take on top contender Aljamain Sterling or potentially Marlon Moraes.
Do you agree with Dana White that the Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo fight was stopped far too late?