A wild moment erupted between two flyweights after their fight was called off by the referee during the preliminary card of UFC 259 on Saturday night.
No. 8 ranked Kai Kara-France finished Rogerio Bontorin, who is also ranked at No. 8, by first-round TKO, but the bout ended with controversy.
After surviving an onslaught of submissions on the ground, Kara-France dropped Bontorin with three consecutive right-hand blows and then threw up his hands in victory, walking away from his opponent. As Kara-France walked off, referee Herb Dean wrapped his arms around the fighter to stop him from engaging and then made his way to the downed Bontorin.
Then, Kara-France charged back at Bontorin preparing to throw what appeared to be a hammer fist, however Dean stopped the flyweight before he could land the shot. Bontorin then got back to his feet after Kara-France started celebrating his victory and he threw his mouthpiece at “Dont Blink.”
It was a confusing moment all around and it can be seen below:
After surviving multiple submission attempts, @kaikarafrance got up and landed the walk-off shots 💥
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 7, 2021
With the victory, Kara-France improved his professional MMA record to 22-9 with one no contest. Bontorin’s record fell to 16-3 with one no contest.
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MMA Community Reacts to the Confusing Stoppage
The Mac Life’s Oscar Willis wrote, “Herb Dean grabbing Kai Kara-France around his waist signals the end of the fight.”
Herb Dean grabbing Kai Kara-France around his waist signals the end of the fight
— Oscar Willis (@oscarswillis) March 7, 2021
TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter asked, “Did Herb Dean not stop the fight?”
Did Herb Dean not stop the fight?
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 7, 2021
Bleacher Report’s Tom Taylor wrote, “Herb clearly stopped that. Dunno what Joe is on about. Then again, I rarely do.”
Herb clearly stopped that. Dunno what Joe is on about. Then again, I rarely do. #UFC259
— Tom Taylor (@TomTayMMA) March 7, 2021
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