UFC President Dana White has blamed the excitement of the boisterous crowd at UFC 179 for the referee’s failure to hear the buzzer at the end of the first round.
A crowd on fire
The joy of the Rio de Janeiro crowd on Saturday night was apparently too much for referee Marc Goddard. It seems that he failed to hear the buzzer at the end of the first round, allowing featherweight champion José Aldo to land two significant punches against challenger Chad Mendes after the round should have finished.
When you know that a bonus of $50,000 is awarded to the winner, it’s not difficult to see how this could raise controversy. José Aldo is already among the top ten earning featherweights but would probably not turn his back on a bit of extra cash, and may have already been tempted by the casino lights like his boss, UFC President Dana White.
White, who has since defended the referee, claiming that he too could not hear the buzzer over the crowd noise, is himself a well-known gambler. So successful in fact that he was banned by a Las Vegas casino after winning $2 million. But not to worry, he may have already turned to online gambling and sites such as My Casino Room to learn where to get high roller bonuses and the best places to keep on playing poker at any time of the day or night.
Feast of UFC
But to come back to the match, perhaps it should come as no surprise that by the time Aldo and Mendes had arrived in the ring the crowd had already worked themselves up into a frenzy. Their headline bout was, after all, the 11th Brazilian fighters to the ring including Glover Teixeira, Wilson Reis and Fabrício Camões before the man from Manaus took on Mendes. on the bill and the crowd had already welcomed several
1. Featherweight José Aldo (c) def. Chad Mendes
2. Light Heavyweight Phil Davis def. Glover Teixeira
3. Light Heavyweight Fábio Maldonado def. Hans Stringer
4. Featherweight Darren Elkins def. Lucas Martins
5. Lightweight Beneil Dariush def. Carlos Diego Ferreira
6. Welterweight Neil Magny def. William Macario
7. Lightweight Yan Cabral def. Naoyuki Kotani
8. Catchweight (128 lbs) Wilson Reis def. Scott Jorgensen
9. Featherweight Andre Fili def. Felipe Arantes
10. Lightweight Gilbert Burns def. Christos Giagos
11. Catchweight (158 lbs) Tony Martin def. Fabrício Camões
Aldo’s fight with Mendes, a rematch following a January 2012 contest won by first round knockout by the Brazilian, didn’t hinge on the punches he threw following the buzzer but the knockdown he inflicted will clearly have hit Mendes’ confidence. It is hard to blame Aldo for continuing the fight after the buzzer – it has to be Goddard’s responsibility to ensure that the fight does not continue after the end of the round. If the fighters are forced to concentrate on listening for the buzzer then their attention will not be fully on their opponent and in combat sports that can be fatal.
Aldo v Mendes 3?
With four rounds still to go in the contest, American Chad Mendes did well to regain his composure and take the fight to points but the punches landed after the buzzer will certainly have taken it out of him. Had it not been for the unfortunate incident then he may well feel that he could have gone on to claim the belt from Aldo. He may also now feel entitled to another rematch.
Having waited nearly three years since their last meeting at UFC 142, he may have to bide his time but, after such an incredible fight and a wonderful spectacle at UFC 179, it is certain that an Aldo-Mendes rematch would capture the public’s imagination and deliver similar levels of crowd excitement to those seen in Rio. Only next time let’s hope that the buzzer is loud enough for everybody to hear.