During the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 85, referee Steve Perceval received heavy criticism for not stopping the fight in both the first and second rounds.
Even though the second round was more controversial than the first, a case could have been made for a first-round stoppage since Hector Lombard dropped his opponent Neil Magny and spent the majority of the first round landing heavy shots. However, Perceval's capacity to referee a fight went under heavy scrutiny after Magny achieved back mount on Lombard and delivered more than 100 unanswered strikes in the second round of the fight.
Although many, including Magny, criticized referee Perceval's decision to let the fight go on to the third round, Lombard's teammate and friend Jorge Masvidal thinks differently.
"I think he was just trying to be fair 'cause he let Magny go so long. But I mean, Hector didn't quit and I think, I'm not sure, maybe I'm making this up in my head, but it looked like Hector was throwing his thumbs up and he was talking to [Perceval]," Masvidal told Ariel Helwani during Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.
"So, if he's doing all that, maybe Magny is so gassed out that his punches are not hurting and Hector is just too tired to get out of it, but he can take the punches. So I thought it was that kind of situation, like yeah, if the guy is talking to you and he's throwing his hands up, obviously he's good, you know."
Masvidal believes Lombard's defeat was a combination of ring rust and fatigue. Lombard hadn't competed since January 2015 after receiving a one-year suspension for testing positive for anabolic steroids.
However, Masvidal is confident his teammate will bounce back from this setback and says the outcome would be different if Lombard were to fight Magny a second time.
"Hector is such an unbelievable athlete. He's so dynamic and good everywhere. I've seen him training with good wrestlers, boxing with good boxers, he's just disgusting in all areas," Masvidal said. "Just a little tweak here, little tweak there, and I think he beats him in the rematch, easy."
On top of watching his teammate lose, Masvidal, who's a betting man, lost "a lot" of money following Lombard's loss to Magny.
"Hopefully I can declare that in my IRS taxes," said Masvidal.