UFC 207 got off to one of the most confusing starts in recent memory.
Tim Means (26-7-1, 1 NC) absolutely drilled Alex Oliveira with a pair of knees to the head while Olveira had his left knee on the mat in the opening round of their welterweight fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Oliveira was unable to continue, and then confusion set in. Referee Dan Miragliotta made the questionable judgement that the knees were accidental, which meant the Means was not disqualified, and instead ruled the bout a no-contest at the 3:33 mark.
Adding further to the confusion, UFC vice-president for regulatory affairs Marc Ratner told viewers on UFC Fight Pass that the knees were legal and the official was wrong, a misstatement magnified by color commentator Joe Rogan’s insistence Ratner was correct.
After the bout, Means, for his part, thought the bout should not have been stopped. He thought if Oliveira didn’t have his hands down, it was a legal knee.
“I thought he was stopping the fight because it was out,” Means said. “I could see his knee down, I thought he was defending the knee.”
The finishing sequence came after three minutes of solid, back-and-forth action. Oliveira (16-3-1, 1 NC) left the cageside area on a stretcher.