Roy Nelson got back on the winning track at UFC Fight Night 95 when he scored a second-round knockout over friend and fellow heavyweight veteran Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. But Nelson's post-fight theatrics drew just as much attention as his performance, as a visibly angry Nelson flipped off referee John McCarthy and lightly kicked McCarthy in the back over what Nelson believed to be a late stoppage.
"It was a push," Nelson said of the kick at the UFC Fight Night 95 post-fight press conference. "It was more of like, dude, come on.
"Then we had a conversation in the cage. I was like, 'Dude, he was knocked out.' And [McCarthy] was like, ‘No, he wasn't.' And I'm like, dude, I know what a knockout is. I knock people out. That's what I do for a living. I know what a knockout is. Just because the guy didn't roll his eyes into the back of his head, or shake, or whatever ... it was just one of those things."
UFC Senior Vice President and General Manager of Brazil Giovani Decker noted that the UFC would not punish Nelson for the incident and that any further action would have to be taken up by the Brazilian athletic commission (CABMMA). CABMMA director Cristiano Sampaio told MMA Fighting'a Guilherme Cruz that McCarthy would have to file an official complaint if any action would be taken.
The entire sequence began early in the second round when Nelson floored Silva with a heavy right uppercut. Nelson then swarmed Silva and rained down five hard punches while yelling at McCarthy to stop the fight.
"I didn't want to hurt ‘Bigfoot' more than I had to," Nelson said. "And I got taken by the moment, because it's like I'm beating the sh*t out of somebody and you're like, dude, enough is enough. And for me, it hurt my feelings. And I apologize to Big John, but I wouldn't take it back. It just hurt me, that I've got to keep on hitting a guy that doesn't need to be hit."
Following the stoppage, Nelson walked away from the scene in disgust, throwing his arms up in the air while shouting. He then charged back across the cage to kick McCarthy as the veteran referee attended to Silva.
The situation marked the sixth time that Silva has been knocked out over his last eight performances. So while Nelson emerged from UFC Fight Night 95 with a win, he said he took no pleasure in inflicting what he perceived to be unnecessary damage on a 37-year-old friend who has already sustained his fair share of head trauma.
"I knew I already knocked him out with my first punch, and then I got him one more time," Nelson said. "In my head, it was like slow-mo, like I'm having a conversation with John going, ‘hey man, how is the weather over there?' That's what it felt like. I'm friends with ‘Bigfoot,' and he has a family. I don't need to keep on punching him in his face. And it's not one of those (things) like, if I hit him so hard that he fell flat on his face, I would've just walked off like Mark Hunt. But he fell on his back.
"It wasn't like [McCarthy] was so far away. He was over here to my side, and I know I had a conversation (with him). I'm like, he's out. He's like, ‘no he's not, keep on moving.' So for me, I feel like I'm giving ‘Bigfoot' extra damage, where he doesn't actually need to get hit that much."