An apparent mistake by veteran referee Herb Dean led to an early stoppage in a UFC 218 preliminary fight Saturday night.
Welterweights Abdul Razak Alhassan and Sabah Homasi were engaged in a solid scrap in the opening round of their fight in Detroit. Alhassan opened up with a flurry of punches. Homasi hit the mat in what appeared to be an attempt to change levels, or perhaps he simply slipped.
But from Dean’s angle, it looked Homasi was dropped from a punch, and it waved the fight off and awarded Alhassan a TKO victory. The time of the stoppage was 4:21.
“I’ve been hurt worse than that in fights,” Homasi said. “That was just a little drop. I’ve been hurt a million times worse than that.”
Alhassan, for his part, acknowledged the crowd’s unhappiness with the stoppage.
“I’m sorry. It’s not my fault,” Alhassan said. “It’s what happened. He’s a good fighter, respect to him. I’m very sorry. It was a good fight.”
Alhassan, the 32-year-old Ghana native, improved to 8-1 overall, 2-1 in the UFC.
And while few will fault Homasi (11-7) for his second straight loss, he was understandably frustrated with the situation.
“I’m a tough motherf*cker,” Homasi said. “I’ve been hurt worse than that and came back to win the fight.”