clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: UFC’s Thomas Gifford responds to claims his corner should’ve stopped the fight

UFC Fight Night Jacare v Hermansson Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

This past weekend, former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk cemented herself as the No. 1 contender for the strawweight title with a dominant performance at UFC Tampa. But despite one of the most decorated champions in UFC history returning to form in the main event, arguably the biggest talking point coming out of the event stemmed from a little-heralded undercard fight between Mike Davis and Thomas Gifford.

For nearly 15 minutes, Davis engaged in one of the most one-sided and prolonged beatdowns in recent UFC history. Davis beat Gifford pillar-to-post, dominating the bout and putting Gifford in trouble repeatedly to the point that many fans were vocal on social media calling for Gifford’s corner or the referee to intervene and put a stop to the unnecessary punishment, not to mention the two UFC commentators. Neither did though and with 14 seconds to go in the fight Davis connected on a massive punch that finally floored the hard-nosed Arkansan, leaving him face-down and inert. The KO seemed entirely unnecessary and prompted discussions about the role corners in MMA play and their reluctance to stop fights, even when it is in the best interest of their fighter.

But to all of that, Gifford says “nonsense.”

In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Gifford responded to the critics who believed the fight should’ve been stopped sooner, saying that he’s come back from similar situations before and that his coaches did the right thing in letting it go on.

“I really don’t care what they say,” Gifford said. “They ain’t been training with me, they ain’t been through my life and they don’t know what goes through my mind and they don’t know how I’ve been raised. I’ve been there before. I’ve been almost dead in the second round and I’ve come back in the third and just impressed everybody and they was like ‘Whoa, there was no way that guy came back.’ That’s my life story! That’s always happened and my coaches know that. He’s seen me do it in the cage, he’s seen me do it in sparring rounds.

“It’s alright. I’m good, everybody knows it. My scans come back fine. I ain’t have no broken bones, I’m walking around. I might be all bruised up and I look horrible but that’ll all turn out. That’ll heal and that’ll all come right back to where I was before the fight even began.”

Amazingly, Gifford does not seem to have suffered any serious injuries as a result of the fight. And while many fighters might look at what happened and reevaluate their careers, or at least how certain situations are handled, Gifford says that the thought never crossed his mind. In fact, Gifford says he’s shooting to fight for another 15 years or so and hopefully become a champion one day.

“No, never crossed my mind,” Gifford said. “It never will until I’m probably 40 years old. I want another 13 to 15 years in this sport. I want to be the next Yoel Romero. I want to be the old man kicking everybody’s butt and showing everybody what’s up. Everybody starts off rocky. I think it was Rafael dos Anjos, he lost his first two fights and he became a champion. I mean sure he lost it but he can come back. I mean he’s not that old. He can still do it and so can I.”

It’s not impossible for Gifford’s dreams to come true and given the contours of his previous fight, it’s safe to say he has the toughness required to make it in MMA and the stubbornness necessary to keep going despite setbacks. That will serve him well because at the end of the day, Gifford says he’s pleased with his performance and chalks this up to just an unlucky roll of the dice.

“I’ve watched the video a million times and I don’t care,” Gifford concluded. “I went out on my shield. I done exactly what I said I was gonna do. I mean, I might have been rocked at the very first of the fight, [but] I’ve fought through adversity millions of times. This time I didn’t make it. They can doubt me for it all they want, but next time it will be different.”


Fight. UFC champ Jon Jones to Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson: ‘More than happy to choke you out’.

GSP. Georges St-Pierre ‘would’ return to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for right deal.

Fire. Jeremy Stephens unloads on Yair Rodriguez before rematch.

Sides. Yair Rodriguez gives his side of hotel run-in with Jeremy Stephens after last fight.

30 for 30. ‘Chuck & Tito’ director Micah Brown talks origins of documentary, adding to lore, Tito Ortiz’s response.


Extended Khabib interview.

Top 10 Cash Grab fights.

Yair Rodriguez on Jeremy Stephens.


Eurobash. Interviews with Petr Yan, Brendan Loughnane, and Sean Brady.

Fights Gone By. Jack Slack discusses Joanna vs. Waterson and ONE Championship.



So it continues.

Good lord look at Ulka Sasaki’s jaw.


Would watch.

Hard to argue.


Dillon Danis actually with a solid idea.

Call out.

Trash talk.





Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



Should Gifford’s corner have stopped the fight?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    (650 votes)
  • 10%
    (105 votes)
  • 23%
    Don’t care either way.
    (229 votes)
984 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting