HOUSTON -- While the fighters did their job to make UFC 166 a special night, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation didn't uphold its end of the bargain. Saturday night's card, held at the Toyota Center, was rife with indefensible mistakes from appointees of the Texas commission.
Overseeing his first UFC event, referee Jay Stafin severely botched two stoppages out of his three contests, allowing T.J. Waldburger and Shawn Jordan to suffer extensive damage well after both men were already knocked out cold.
"He was terrible. The guy was terrible. Always in the wrong position," UFC President Dana White told reporters afterward.
"That knucklehead referee. I started screaming at this f--king guy. [Jordan] was getting blasted. I counted six [extra punches].
"Six extra punches he took in the face, Jordan did," White continued. "I mean if you look at the physical stature of that referee, he shouldn't be in there with two big heavyweights anyway. That guy weighed about f--king 97 pounds. It's like when they throw what's-her-face in Nevada, she's in there with two huge guys. It's like, are you serious right now?"
Jordan recovered under his own power, however Waldburger had to be removed from the cage on a stretcher and delivered immediately to a local hospital, where he was eventually cleared and released.
The late stoppages by Stafin joined a pair of inexcusable decisions made by another first time appointee, judge Ruben Najera. Also overseeing his first UFC event, Najera scored the final frame of a preliminary card fight between Sarah Kaufman vs. Jessica Eye a 10-9 in favor of Eye, despite Kaufman's heavy striking advantage in the round. Kaufman ultimately lost a split decision due to Najera's scorecard.
Najera later, and perhaps more puzzlingly, scored all three rounds of Tim Boetsch's fight against C.B. Dollaway in favor of Boetsch, as did judge Jon Schorle.
Those mistakes, compounded by Stafin's ineffectualness, left White scratching his head at the end of what was an otherwise electrifying night.
"Whenever a guy gets knocked out, especially when a guy takes more punches than he should, it always freaks me out. The one punch knocks you out, and then for him to take more punishment after that when he's out, I go f--king crazy, man. I hate it," White said.
"I jumped up and I was screaming at that f--king referee tonight. Screaming at him. Do your f--king job. Get your skinny ass in there and stop that f--king fight when this guy is out cold, getting hit. I hate it so bad. It makes me sick.
"The guy is terrible. Judging was [terrible]."