Roy Nelson was upset at referee "Big" John McCarthy for not stopping his heavyweight bout with Antonio Silva when the Brazilian was knocked down, and kicked the referee moments after the fight was finally stopped Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 95. More coverage on Nelson's potential punishment can be seen here.
Despite Nelson's apology after the event, UFC president Dana White is not happy with him. Days after the UFC event in Brasilia, Brazil, White went on UFC Unfiltered podcast and criticized the longtime heavyweight veteran for his action.
"You can’t apologize for that," White said. "You don’t ever, ever put your f**king hands on a referee, or your feet, for any reason whatso f**king ever. You don’t do it. He needs to be buried. He went over there and he put his foot on his ass to like push him over, you know what I mean? Was flipping him off, yelling whatever. You wanna flip a ref off, there is never, ever a situation where you put your f**king hands on a referee. Ever. You can’t apologize for that."
White said the promotion will wait to see how the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) handles the situation, but Nelson "needs to be buried for that one." MMA Fighting spoke with CABMMA officials and was informed that the case will be handled by the newly formed MMA’s Superior Justice Court (STJDMMA), and a STJDMMA attorney told MMA Fighting that the court has seven days to decide whether or not a complaint will be filed against him. STJDMMA is examining the situation, but no decision has been made yet.
"I’ve been traveling since the fight so I haven’t seen what’s going on, but if the Brazilian athletic commission doesn’t reign on him, man, it’s not good," White said. "You don’t ever put your hands on a referee. I don’t care what the circumstances are, you don’t do. And listen, we don’t always agree with them, we have our favorites, we have our least favorites, [Steve] Mazzagatti, you know. The guy, no matter how good or whatever you feel about him, they are there for your safety. They are there to keep you safe. F**king, that dope isn’t the… you know what I mean?"
At the post-fight press conference, Nelson explained why he decided to kick the referee.
"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.
"I knew I already knocked him out with my first punch, and then I got him one more time," he added. "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."
Dana White doesn’t agree with his argument.
"This guy is the f**king judge of when a fight should or shouldn’t be stopped? You’re a fighter, you go until the referee tells you to stop. John McCarthy is very qualified in what he does, he’s been here a lot longer than f**king Roy Nelson has been. And for Roy Nelson to go over and put his f**king hands on a referee, it can’t happen. It can never happen. But John is sitting there in his knees, tending to Bigfoot, and you come up behind him and f**king kick him? It’s despicable, it’s disgusting, it can never f**king happen, ever again."