Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard came into Saturday’s UFC Fight 30 in Manchester, England, gunning to win the Fight of the Night bonus. But just 117 seconds into their battle, the fight was over, neither man getting a bonus, and neither man getting a victory.
After the usual feeling out period early on, Pearson exploring his kicking game, Guillard putting his hands in play, Pearson launched into an attack. As the Brit jumped forward, Guillard caught him mid-air and then planted him on the canvas.
Pearson, next to the cage, immediately started to get up, but Guillard launched a knee that caught him in the face. Pearson started to drop back down to the mat, eating another knee to the face, this one splitting open a gash on his forehead.
Referee Marc Goddard jumped in and halted the action, believing that Guillard’s actions were illegal.
After the doctor suggested the fight should not continue due to the cut, Goddard waved off the fight.
Officially calling Guillard’s knees illegal, but accidental, the bout was ruled a no contest.
The replays painted a cloudy picture, at best, with the first knee clearly being legal. As Pearson went back down, he had one knee down and his hand had just hit the canvas as Guillard’s knee hit his face; this being the knee that triggered the foul.
Knees to a downed opponent have been the subject of much controversy lately, with a new approach leaving it to the referee’s discretion whether the fighter being kneed was intentionally putting a hand down to avoid the knee strike instead of actually defending the technique. Goddard, in this case, ruled that the second knee was illegal, and with the gash on Pearson’s head, the fight was stopped.
Neither fighter, of course, was pleased by the outcome and both immediately declared they wanted to fight again.
“All I got to say guys is I’m sorry, this is not the way I wanted to go out. Let’s do it again,” said Pearson. “I wasn’t hurt. I was illegally attacked, but it happens in this sport. Me and Melvin will do it again for yah.”
“Ross is a great fighter. We wanted Fight of the Night so bad,” he stated. “Unfortunately, the second knee I threw hit him when his hand was down. We can do it again.”
(Follow @KenPishna on Twitter / Photo courtesy of UFC)