Referee Jason Herzog took the blame for the late stoppage in the Anthony Smith vs. Glover Teixeira fight at UFC Jacksonville.
Smith suffered a brutal beatdown in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds by Teixeira before Herzog finally stepped in and stopped the fight. Smith suffered numerous facial injuries in the fight and also lost several of his teeth. The late stoppage drew criticism from fans and media as the majority of viewers felt the fight should have been stopped much sooner.
Since the fight went down, blame has shifted between Herzog for not stopping it sooner and also to the corner of Smith in Marc Montoya and James Krause, who failed to throw in the towel for Smith despite him taking a beating that seemed impossible to come back from. Herzog, however, has now stepped up and says he is the one to blame for it all.
Taking to his social media on Friday to address the critics of the late stoppage, Herzog released the following statement on his Twitter.
— Jason Herzog (@JasonHerzogMMA) May 15, 2020
“This sport of MMA is beautiful, it’s pure. And an incredible teacher. Some lessons are more harsh than others. I’ve seen a lot of opinions about what should have happen, who was at fault. But let me be clear, there is only one person to blame. Me. I am responsible for each fighter I am entrusted to oversee. I will take this experience, make the necessary changes, and get better,” Herzog wrote.
Herzog is considered by the majority of the MMA community to be one of the best referees in the sport and is often considered the gold standard of officiating. It takes a brave person to admit when they were wrong, especially a referee in MMA, who has one of the most difficult jobs to do in the business. Hopefully, not only Herzog but also other referees and cornermen can learn from this fight and step in before their fighter gets takes unnecessary damage.
Do you agree that Jason Herzog is the one to blame for what happened to Anthony Smith?