Should Velasquez vs. dos Santos Have Been Stopped Sooner? Dana White Wanted to Throw in the Towel

October 22, 2013
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01-Cain Velasquez vs Junior dos Santos UFC 155-6304-478x270UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez closed the book on the trilogy with former titleholder Junior dos Santos by stopping the Brazilian in the final round of their fight at UFC 166 on Oct. 19.

The two first met in November 2011, when dos Santos defeated Velasquez by knockout early in the opening round to capture the UFC heavyweight title. Velasquez avenged the loss and regained the belt at UFC 155 in a one-sided unanimous decision. Their third encounter was even more lopsided, and UFC president Dana White felt the fight should have been stopped earlier than it was. The end eventually came in the fifth round.

“I think that fight should have been stopped in the third round. It should have been stopped,” said White following Saturday’s event in Houston.

Velasquez landed a right hand that knocked dos Santos down. Dos Santos was able to get back to his feet, but Velasquez continue to land clean shots. The cage seemed to be the only thing keeping the former champion on his feet.

“If you watch that third round again, when he’s getting hit, his arms are like this,” said White, showing his arms down at his sides. “He wasn’t defending himself. He doesn’t have his hands up. He’s out.”

The UFC president felt dos Santos was taking unnecessary punishment and that his corner should have considered throwing in the towel.

“I wanted to throw in the towel,” he said.  Of course, only a fighter’s corner can throw in the towel.  White knows this, but was making a point.

“I don’t want this to come out the wrong way, but I always like to say, if anybody in his (expletive) corner cares about him, please throw in that towel.

“I thought that fight was done in the third round. Is Junior dos Santos tough enough and does he have the heart to go through it? Yeah, but does that mean he should?” continued White. “If you look at the fight – when did it end? The fifth? It ended in the fifth, so that guy took seven, eight minutes more of punishment that I believe he didn’t need to take until it ended… I don’t like it.

“I’m just being honest and telling you want I think. I would have loved to have seen that (the towel thrown in). Junior is a young and talented guy, and the inevitable happened in the fifth round,” he added.

Referee Herb Dean is one of the most respected referees in the business and almost stopped the fight. He was so close that he literally put his hand on Velasquez before making the determination to allow it to continue.

“I respect Herb Dean. You guys have heard me talk about Herb Dean as a ref, but even the best have bad nights,” said the UFC president. “And in my opinion, that should have been stopped in the third.”

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  • I like fights

    I agree with white on this. Didn’t care who won I like both fighters and just wanted a good fight which it was. But Dos Santos was done in the third. This isn’t boxing, there’s no ten count and I’m sure if the fight was stopped he woulda got right up but he did take unnessary punishment just prolonging the inevitable. Seen worse though, I’m both early and late stoppages.

  • Manuel Lopez

    I don’t agree with DW on almost anything but on this I do. Third rnd the fight should have been stopped and I believe the doctors that night were EXTREMELY IMCOMPETENT DOCTORS!!! Same with Sanchez, that opening he had above his eye was massive and when they allowed him to go on… it was just criminal imo.

    • BobLemons

      I disagree there, as bad as the cut looked it was just superficial. Sanchez was all there and ready to fight. The brain rattling damage that happens in cases like JDS can be invisible but pose long term problems.

      • Hugh Shakeshaft

        Exactly. A cut is one thing. Repeated head trauma is another thing entirely. He needs at least six months off and a brain scan of some kind after that one.

  • Vegard Bergli

    I think that the doctors are to blame for this one, the only thing the doctors really rely on is the answers from the fighter. I think they don’t want to stop fights as it might gather criticism, but that shouldn’t be a factor. This was a great example to the fact that a fighter wanting to keep fighting doesn’t necessarily know their own good at that point. That’s why we need the doctors, to tell them NO, you can’t!

    Dos Santos’ heart however, can’t be criticized.

    • Hugh Shakeshaft

      Doctors were at fault yes, but a little common sense from Jr’s corner could have solved it too. Too many people take a doctors opinion as law when they’re just people who can make mistakes too.

  • michigan love

    Dos Santos had blood dripping out of his ear, half his eyebrow was gone from a major cut, the other eye was swollen shut, he took a terrible beating. I understand that he was willing to take it, He’s a durable, competitive guy with huge heart and determination. But, The UFC doesn’t need a fatality. I’m a huge UFC and Boxing Fan, and as a fan I know when enough is enough. The TAPOUT is there for the Fighter to prevent serious injury. The Corner TOWEL, REFEREE, and RING DOCTOR are there for the fighter to prevent serious injury, they all failed on this occasion. Dos Santos will never be the same after a beating like that, but thankfully, he survived.

  • solo

    THIS SHOULDN’T BE A QUESTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Fighters health is the most important. JDS took almost 300 shots to the head, thats insaaaane. I read an article where he said that he doesnt remember almost the entire fight and the interview with Joe. And he actually thought that the fight ended in 2nd round. I mean talk about brain disorder. IMO all the people who were in JDS’s corner that night are COMPLETE IDIOTS!!! I wish JDS a quick recovery.

  • Guest


  • macarrech

    All this was the doctors fault. Herb Dean wanted the fight to be stopped but those doctors keep giving the green light. In the end when JDS put his head on the mat Dean intervene quickly not allowing Cain to punch him a single time at that time. IMO Herb Dean is the best referee in the sport.

    • macarrech

      Lets thank god that the referee wasn’t steve mazagatti. JDS would be in a comma right now .

      • Hugh Shakeshaft

        Your right, but I think you meant coma.

        • macarrech

          Yeah. that’s what I meant. thanks. English is not my main language .

        • Steve

          I think you mean you’re.

          • MuayThaiFood

            I think you meant “meant”.

          • Hugh Shakeshaft

            got me

    • Hugh Shakeshaft

      Kudos to Herb Dean. He did all he could.


    What if this was on Fox & Not pay per view, would they have stopped it???

  • diazfan209

    MMA is an athletic contest where athlete safety should be paramount. When severity is too high, regardless of what the fighter wants, it should be called. Yes, these athletes are warriors, but if someone is severely damaged, that fighter needs to be protected from further (unnecessary) infliction.

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    I am the furthest thing from a prophet, but I actually said the same thing during the fight. Why doesn’t Jr’s corner throw in the towel? I’ve never seen it before in MMA. Has anyone else? I think it should be seen as a respectable option in cases like this.

    • macarrech

      I remember seeing Nick Diaz trowing the towel for his brother Nate in a fight. I think when josh Thompson (not sure if this one) was giving him a beating not even close to the beating JDS took.

  • qigpa

    JDS is my favorite figher. I also agree that it should’ve been stopped in the 3rd. I also think he can make it up the ladder again. He just needs alot of time to work on his cardio(which 3-4 months is not enough time to build up that kind of shape) to be able to keep up with a pace like cains. Don’t get me wrong his cardio is great, but cains is on a super athlete level. Anyways, Best of luck to JDS. i hope he bounces back and recovers well.

    • Texas beast

      Too much muscle….. Lack of oxygen caused him to has by the end if the first round.

    • Spec

      Cardio is irrelevant, because JDS has great cardio and Cain destroyed him from the get go in round 1 where cardio wasn’t even a factor, come on.

  • Adam Vogt North Yarmouth

    The last thing any ref wants is to have a fighter get seriously injured on their watch. But they also don;t want to stop a championship fight too soon. Lots of fighters have complained of early stoppages and said “let me take my ass whooping” and everybody laughs and applauds. I agree with everyone else that the fight should have been stopped in the third, but I don’t think it was so obvious that Herb Dean’s judgement should be questioned. These guys have an extremely difficult job, and obviously JDS’s corner didn’t want the fight stopped or they could have thrown in the towel or called it between rounds the way BJ Penn’s corner did against GSP. Just hope JDS has a full and quick recovery.

  • Timothy Malone

    The problem is when guys take beatings like this they appear to be fine. JDS will be fighting again next year no problem. But that’s the short term. It’s still not completely clear what the long term effects of continuously taking shots like that is. The science on brain injuries unfortunately isn’t that clear.

    • Mark McDowall

      Look at alot of older boxers…thats pretty much proof of what will be happening to some of these guys.

  • deepgrim

    did anyone else think is was like a carbon copy of when jds stopped cain, i can just remember the big over hand right dropping jds, and trying to sweep his leg away and land the big follow up shots. only diff is that this wasnt stopped

  • dgs

    And if it was stopped how many of you would have been bitching it was stopped too early? It really is a no-win situation sometimes for these poor doctors/refs. I have lost track of the number of threads where a fight was stopped and everyone comes on bitching it should have been allowed to continue, and then when it’s not stopped soon enough, everyone complains the doctors/ref are incompetent. What a thankless, difficult job.

    These guys are fighters, period. They’re going to get hurt, they’re going to get beat up and bloodied, and I have seen many times fighters who were getting beaten, and were bloodied to hell, land a KO blow out of nowhere. Dos Santos will live to fight another day, enough with the drama.

    Dana “F*cking” White is never freaking happy that guy. He’s always bitching about something or another when it comes to coaches, refs, doctors, etc. Whether it’s bitching about how Tito Ortiz or Greg Jackson can’t manage their fighters, or what a moron Steve Mazzagatti is, or how incompetent the ringside judges are, the idiot is just never happy. Hey Dana, shut up, watch the fights, and let the damn refs/fighter’s corner do their jobs, and you do yours.

    • MuayThaiFood

      Dana White has every right to have and express an opinion as you do my friend. You sound like the one finding something to bitch about. Even when he’s trying to protect his fighter he can’t catch a break. Do you find some ulterior motive there? I sure can’t.

  • rapidfire

    it amazes me how people always bitch and moan.
    had herb dean stopped the fight, ppl would bitch about how it was stopped prematurely and JDS was aware/intelligently defending himself, blah, blah.
    now that herb dean let it go little further,ppl are saying it should have been stopped and blah again.
    what if JDS came back n won in 5th round?
    answer? herb dean is the greatest ref ever and blah.
    seriously,herb dean did best he can to give JDS a chance.blame it on the’s not herb dean.

  • MuayThaiFood

    What about the second fight? JDS took a severe beating there and wasn’t in the fight after the first round. I think he took a lot of unnecessary damage in this one but he looked out on his feet for a good portion of their last fight. I felt he had a near 0 chance of winning at some point so the risk vs odds of reward ratio warranted throwing the towel in my opinion. When you see the slow-mo replay as a punch connects and his face moves as if it had no bones in it imagine what his brain would look like if you could see it.

  • Big Tuna

    His corner supposedly loves him where were they?

  • freshranger

    the way i see it an arguement could be made for both, yes ref could have called it but JDS is a gamer and if by chance they called it it would be different story now, and u woulda had protest of early stoppage. if u recall JDS never was completley out and made it back to his feet, if they didnt call Sanchez cut over his eye, y would they call the fight in the thrid he was gettin owned but he was scramblin too.

  • freshranger

    oh and not to mention JDS trains with Nog bros. they train at like 95% power all the time brain damage is in all there future i highly doubt of all the training days one fight would be what causes brain damage.fighter safety is important, but if it was called u would have trolls sayin early stoppage etc. this put the topping on the trilogy, and it went into the 5th round not like he ended it in third and the start of the 4th. and was saved by the bell. should i reference the second a. silva vs rich franklin.

  • does it matter

    JDS corner said Cain hits like a girl so they let their guy get more of a beating cause They had science on their side and knew their guy could take a beating like that what a dumb ass corner if i was JDS i will fire all of them poor guys face was f***** up he had to eat all his word Cain dont hit like a girl he got a inessery beating it was his corner job to stop the fight in the third to protect their guy the ref was close to stopping but he didnt cause he didnt want people taking shit that he stop it early

  • Spec

    “And if it was stopped how many of you would have been bitching it was stopped too early? ”

    No-one would. I wouldn’t, would you?
    During round 3 we already had seen 8 straight rounds of Cain manhandling JDS without him having any response for Cain. If there is ever an obvious situation in MMA when to stop the fight – it was this one.