Rousimar Palhares picked up his second consecutive win on Saturday night at UFC 134 in Rio, but not without a strange moment along the way.
After dropping Dan Miller with a punch in the middle of the first round, Palhares followed up with a flurry of shots while his opponent was down on the ground.
Referee Herb Dean rushed over to keep a close eye on the action, but after landing several shots Palhares just let up and started celebrating. The Brazilian leapt to the top of the cage and raised his hands in victory.
The only problem…Herb Dean never stopped the fight.
Palhares then got dropped by Miller after the restart and had to fight his way out of being finished. In the end, Palhares pulled out a unanimous decision win, but not without a bizarre start to the fight with an almost finish.
Following the event, Palhares explained why he celebrated prematurely in his fight with Miller when speaking to UFC.com.
“He said, ‘Stop, stop, stop’ so I stopped,” Palhares said about referee Herb Dean. “I thought the fight was over so I jumped onto the top of the cage.”
Upon replay, Dean definitely runs in to keep a close eye on the action, but never raises his hands or steps in to motion that he was going to stop the fight. Dean also never appears to say anything while Miller is down on the ground and Palhares was standing over him.
The crowd in Rio was loud and stirring during the event, so any number of possibilities could have occurred where Palhares thought he heard somebody yell stop, but unfortunately for him it just didn’t appear to come from the referee.
Regardless of that moment, Palhares was able to regain control and win a unanimous decision victory over Miller. Confident in his ability, Palhares was happy to maybe event count his fight at UFC 134 as two victories.
“God is on my side,” said Palhares. “So I can win once, twice, three times.”