All the talk over the past week has been about the stoppage in the flyweight title fight between Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw. Cejudo ended up getting a TKO win just 32 seconds into the fight in which many believe the stoppage was early.
If that wasn’t enough, Dillashaw and UFC President Dana White both agreed the fight was stopped too soon. Ultimately, Dillashaw was hurt but the major question has been should that fight have been stopped? Well, Bellator MMA’s color commentator and former MMA referee, Big John McCarthy gave his thoughts on the stoppage in an interview with MMA Fighting.
“When you say ‘good stoppage, bad stoppage,’ I’m not into saying what’s good or bad,” McCarthy said of the Henry Cejudo vs. TJ Dillashaw stoppage. “Kevin made a decision. It’s his decision, he’s the one that’s got to live with his decision, along with TJ and the UFC themselves.
“If you’re going to ask me, there’s things that I want a referee to think about,” he continued. “If you’re going to ask me would I have stopped it at that point, no. I wouldn’t have stopped it at that point. This is the reason why: this is not a fight between two guys who are just brought together like ‘oh we’re going to match this fight up,’ whatever fight it is. It’s not, you know, Fighter A against Fighter B. This is a fight where both guys have earned the right to be in the position. They’ve both created a background that’s put them in the position of being champions. Now these are champions going after each other — one to save his entire weight class basically, the other to prove ‘those guys are not as good as me.’
“You look what happens. That fight is a young fight. It’s 25 seconds [in]. When Henry hits TJ with a shot, it hurts him, now doubt about it. It puts him down. When you’re a referee you’ve got to understand certain things. What you’ve got to understand is, I’ve got two guys who are champions. Not all fights are the same. You’re going hear a lot of referees go ‘you referee every fight the same,’ but I’m going to tell you, that’s a referee that has no clue what they’re doing.
“TJ, you see, reaching, he’s got the leg [after he was dropped]. He’s trying to collect himself. You’ve got to give him that opportunity because again, he’s got a full tank of gas. He hasn’t received damage over a couple of rounds. It wasn’t like he was exhausted. Those are elements you factor in when you decide if you’re going to stop a fight or not.”
No matter what, whether you agree with the stoppage or not, the fight is in the books and Cejudo is still the flyweight champion.