Dana White Believes Demetrious Johnson Should Have Been Penalized for Illegal Knee

January 27, 2013
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No matter how good a fight ends up being, there can always be a little controversy interlaced with the result.

As was the case in the main event for UFC on Fox 6 as Demetrious Johnson defeated John Dodson to retain his title on Saturday night.

In the fourth round of a very close fight, Demetrious Johnson landed an illegal knee to the head of John Dodson, prompting a pause in the fight and a stern warning from referee “Big” John McCarthy. The move happened when Johnson had Dodson pinned against the cage with his hand down and the former Ultimate Fighter winner put his hand on the mat, which signifies a “down fighter”, which then makes knees to the head illegal.

While UFC President Dana White doesn’t necessarily agree with the rule and how fighters tempt fate by place their hand on the mat simply to avoid that particular strike, he believes Johnson should have been penalized for the infraction.

“I hate the hand down, I hate that “if I put my hand down, I don’t have to get kneed in the face”. I don’t like it. The reason that that’s there is for soccer kicks or knees when a guy is really down, not just technical “oh I’m down”, I don’t like it,” White told Fuel TV after the fights ended.

“I do think the point should have been taken away. Here’s the thing about it too, it was absolutely an illegal knee, but it was an illegal knee that caused damage too. After that he had a mouse on his eye, he definitely got damaged from it, it should have been a point taken away for that.”

The scores for the Johnson vs. Dodson fight came back 49-46, 48-47, and 48-47 and if the point had been deducted in the fourth round, which all 3 judges scored for the champion, the fight would have ended in a majority draw.

That said, White doesn’t want to definitively give his score for the fight, but the ultra close nature of the entire 25-minute affair could eventually lead to John Dodson getting another shot at Demetrious Johnson.

“I have to watch it again before I go talking out of order here because I was up and down and watching it, but I’m pretty sure I gave Dodson the first three rounds, if not I gave him two of the first three rounds,” said White.

“It was a great fight, it was a very close fight, it’s definitely a controversial fight in the scoring, but it was that close, too. The third round was pivotal and that illegal knee is a big deal.”

  • kbroesq

    They need to change the rules on this. Presumably, they have the rule for the safety of the fighters (the general rule of no knees to the head of a downed opponent), but clearly Dodson was not in any more or less danger based upon his hand being on the mat or not. I think it’s crap if you put your hand down just so someone cannot knee you in that position. This is a fight.

  • b-soc

    Maybe I’m digging a hole, but I think if a fighter is on both knees, it should be illegal, but one knee or one hand, let it go. Definitely no soccer kicks. The trauma to the spinal cord can be life threatening, but if a guy is on one knee, kicks and knees to the head should be illegal – two knees, kicks and knees to the head is illegal. If he puts a hand down on the ground, knee him in the head for doing it!!

    • b-soc

      Correction: if a guy is on one knee, kicks and knees to the head should be legal – two knees, kicks and knees to the head is illegal.

    • shakejunt

      two knees is too much for a fighter to consider in the moment, should be knee or elbow = down, otherwise wreck his face.

      then again, i support stomps in the face as an armbar defense

  • richard duncan

    i agree with if both knees are down or if all fours are on the mat, then yes no knees should be used. but alot of times the one hand is a defenceive wepon a way to stop a atack, just like in boxing, i have seen boxers take a knee just to stop a ass whoopin.thats how alot of fighters use the one hand down. its a sissy move.

  • Maddawgmar

    In any combat sport three points of considered down. In boxing and a guy gets staggered and stops himself from hitting the mat by putting his hand down, he is down. Same rule in MMA, if three points are on the deck he is a downed opponent by rules of combat. Absolutely a point should have been taken. I don’t disagree with Dana’s fight assessment either. I gave Dodson rounds two and three, round one was really close, but I gave it to Johnson. This fight should have been a draw on my card. But under no circumstance should Johnson have won that fight outright with that foul. McCarthy made a big mistake.

  • Doug Burch

    We look at intent and damage. no points should have been taken due to that blow. Big John is the best referee in the business period. Dana is a promoter, a great one for sure but not a referee.

  • bmc92

    what a terrible rule wish they just allowd downed knees and soccer kicks

  • Dave Stiles

    Dana White thought Dodson was going to be his new super star NOT that knee was legit you can play that hand on the floor game its pretty much a MMA flop if anything Dodson should get a point taking away.

  • Ron Couden

    I’m just glad Dodson lost! Such an annoying little turd.