Did anyone see the CB Dollaway vs. Khalid Murtazaliev fight on Saturday afternoon as the featured prelim of UFC Fight Night Moscow on UFC Fight Pass?
Herb Dean was the referee for the fight, won by Murtzaliev by second-round TKO (punches). However, the reaction was less centered on Murtzaliev’s victory. Much of the attention revolved around Dean’s handling of the outcome.
For the final moments of the second round, Murtzaliev, who had scored a knockdown after landing a kick to the body, battered Dollaway, who by that point was on the canvas of the ring, rendering him defenseless against his opponent’s barrage of strikes until the horn blared to end the round.
As Murtzaliev’s ground and pound continued, commentators John Gooden, Dan Hardy, and Paul Felder, who were calling the event for UFC Fight Pass, were all wondering why the fight was allowed to continue as long as it had.
Dean failed to step in and halt the proceedings until the break between the second and third rounds, during which time he informed Dollaway that he needed to stand up or the fight would be called and asked Dollaway if he wished to continue the match.
Dean waved off the fight and Murtzaliev walked away with the TKO victory.
In my opinion, the decision to halt the featured prelim should have been made earlier than it was. When a fighter is in close proximity to scoring a knockout or victory in a bout, as Murtzaliev was in Saturday’s contest, the referee zeroes in on the action to examine whether or not there will be a possible stoppage.
When the referee sees that a fighter is overpowering his or her opponent with strikes, the decision should be made to stop the fight.
It should be made quickly because if a fighter can no longer intelligently defend himself or herself against a series of strikes, it then becomes unsafe for the combatant.
MMA is one of the most aggressive sports in the world. Stoppages to fights should be made as early as possible, with the fighter’s safety in mind.
The bottom line is that Herb Dean should have acted sooner on the decision to call the contest to a stop.
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