The decision to bring a premature end to the Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal fight at UFC 244 was loudly booed by the Madison Square Garden crowd.
However, pictures posted by UFC president Dana White afterwards illustrate why referee Dan Miragliotta was advised to call it off by Dr. Nitin K. Sethi.
The stoppage in New York on 2 November saw Masvidal win the specially designed ‘Baddest Motherf***er’ BMF belt.
Diaz received 25 stitches for the lacerations above and below his right eye, with White writing: “Respect to @natediaz209 for pushing the Dr to continue.”
The injury occurred during the first round when, during a clinch, an elbow from ‘Gamebred’ caught Diaz on the eyebrow, the same place he was cut against Anthony Pettis just a few months earlier.
Those in attendance booed the result and chanted ‘bulls**t’ when it was announced Diaz would no longer be allowed to continue.
Having seen how bad the damage was to Diaz’s eye, though, White said he was happy with the stoppage.
“It happens in this game,” White said. “At first I was itching and pissed off and I said they didn’t stop the Tyson Fury fight [against Otto Wallin] and that cut was nasty.
“Then I walk back and I saw Nate Diaz and his eyebrow was literally flipped over under his eye. He had another cut under his eye.
“It’s easy sitting in my chair thinking it shouldn’t be stopped. The reason we love Nate is because he’s so tough and durable. But it didn’t look good.”
Dr. Sethi, meanwhile, hit out at the MMA fans who have abused him in the aftermath.
Speaking to MMA fighting, the New York-based doc said: ”I’m a very good neurologist and a very good doctor, and calling me f***ing scum online and calling my office staff and yelling at them, threatening me, I fear for my health and safety.
“Somebody’s going to get hurt, and it’s probably going to be me this time.
”People don’t realise what they do when they talk about these things. But that’s the hard reality of this sport.”
He serves as the New York State Athletic Commission’s (NYSAC) chief medical officer and added: ”I made an objective call based on my assessment of the fighter.
“Not just the cut, but the overall assessment of the fighter [and] how the fight was going. Once I felt I could not guarantee the health and safety going forward, I had to make a tough call.”
On Tuesday, NYSAC released the full medical suspensions to MMA Fighting and shows the Stockton native will only be suspended for 90 days. Masvidal, meanwhile, will be sidelined for 30 days.
It’s possible, however, that he could fight sooner if given clearance.
Diaz, who is notorious for cutting easily, was unhappy with the stoppage and hit out at UFC chief White.
“He’s full of it. When he said that to me … it’s the same as every fight. I have this same cut every time,” Diaz said.
“After I fought Pettis, I went back and trained a week later and split it back open halfway. This thing always cuts open.
“That’s what he does though. He says, ‘Ah, I think he didn’t stand a chance in there. It’s good they stopped it’. How many fights you been in, Dana?”
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