Breakdown of Romero/Kennedy Controversy and How to Solve It

By bjpenndotcom - September 28, 2014

Kennedy Romero header

UFC middleweights Tim Kennedy and Yoel Romero stumbled upon a drama-filled bout this past Saturday night at “UFC 178: Johnson vs. Cariaso”.

Toward the end of the second round, Kennedy grabbed hold of Romero’s wrist and caught him with a right hand. After some wiggling of Romero’s wrist, Kennedy accidentally hooked his two fingers on the inside of Romero’s glove, then blasted him with two uppercuts. These two punches led to another exchange where Romero was nearly out on his feet until he was saved by the bell. This is the series of events the social media is referring to as “Glovegate”.

FOUL #1: Section “XX” of Rule 15 (Fouls) in MMA Rules and Regulations: “Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent”.

Yoel Romero stumbled back to his corner after the round ended and sat on his stool, finally having a chance to catch his breath and regain some composure. As the one minute rest-period between the second and third rounds came to an end, Kennedy was ready for action while Romero was sitting in his corner on his stool, alone. Referee John McCarthy instructed Romero to get off the stool, but he did not. After some more yelling from McCarthy, Romero’s corner walked in and took the stool out in the slowest manner possible. The extra thirty seconds of rest gave Romero the second wind he greatly needed which aided him in fishing Kennedy in the final round.

Foul #2: Section “VI” of Rule 3 (Ring / Fighting Area Requirements and Equipment): “There must not be any obstruction or object, including, without limitation, a triangular border, on any part of the ring floor.”

Since the stool was on the mat after the permitted one-minute rest period, Romero and his corner were in violation of the rule stated above and McCarthy could have punished him accordingly.

Whether the fouls made by the fighters were intentional or accidental, both “Stoolgate” and “Glovegate” equally affected the outcome of the fight.

Big John McCarthy was not able to spot the accidental glove-hooking of Tim Kennedy and he chose not to punish Yoel Romero for violating the rules. Events happen so fast inside the octagon and referees only have split-seconds to react. This is not a knock at McCarthy, but rather an acknowledgement that he made a mistake.

A Nevada official recently stated that the likelihood of the result being overturned was “very slim”.

We could treat the violations inside the octagon as offsetting penalties and acknowledge Romero as the rightful winner. However with the current rankings in the UFC middleweight division, a rematch makes perfect sense and could actually benefit both fighters.

Currently ranked at #6, Tim Kennedy would like this rematch for obvious reasons. Romero is a powerhouse with a lot of hype behind him despite being ranked #10 in the division. A victory over Romero could keep Kennedy in headlines while he waits for a Top 5 fighter.

Other than Gegard Mousasi, there are very few high-profile matchups for Yoel Romero that would boost him in the rankings. With the likes of Weidman, Belfort, Rockhold, Bisping and Souza all tied up, a rematch with Tim Kennedy main-eventing a free Fox Sports 1 “Fight Night” card could raise his stock even higher.

What do you think? Should there be a rematch between the two or should they move on? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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