Darren Stewart agrees with a lot of the people who felt that Dominick Cruz put too much weight behind Octagon control and takedowns when commentating the Brit’s middleweight clash against Deron Winn at UFC Boston.
After an entertaining 15-minute bout, Stewart admitted that even though he felt he had done enough to claim victory over previously undefeated Winn, he was worried that the American might get the split decision nod as he awaited the official decision in the middle of the Octagon.
“I knew I won the fight, but with the UFC and it being in America with all the wrestling…the scoring system is sh*t,” Stewart told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast.
“As a fighter I knew I won, but you know what, it was a split decision and I had a feeling they would give it to him. If you look at the video carefully—Deron and Darren sound the same—when I heard ‘Darren’, I thought, ‘Oh no, that’s Deron Winn,’ but then I saw my coaches jumping and I was like, ‘Oh yes! I won!’ If you see the video you can see that I lifted my arm but I make some kind of face first and then I [realized I won].”
Stewart revealed that he was surprised by some of Cruz’s sentiments when he watched the fight back.
“I’m surprised because Dominick Cruz is a mover. He should be on my side – he’s always moving and cutting angles and sh*t – I’m surprised. There was one point where he got me down in the third round after I had done some good work and Dominick said something like, ‘That takedown could win him the round,’ or something like that,” said Stewart.
“How is it that he could get a takedown and win that round? It’s bullsh*t! I’m glad [the criteria] has changed. I’ve been reading some things online and I feel like it’s more even now. You can’t just take someone down and win now. They’ve made it more fair.”
Stewart also took exception to some points made by Winn’s training partner, Daniel Cormier, who was also on commentary duty for the Boston event.
“There was one point where he took me down off the cage and Cormier said, ‘Darren Stewart is accepting it, he’s not trying to get up’ – you’re damn right I’m accepting it, why would I use so much energy to get back up if I’m not against the cage? The cage wasn’t there for me to get back up. You guys want me to get back up, so you can take me back down and that’s a wrestler’s fight. I’ve got more experience; I’ve got better fight IQ. You’re damn right I accepted it, I’m laying there and I’m cutting you open. It’s the way the commentary team say he’s not trying to do this, he’s not trying to do that…all of that stuff.”
Stewart did highlight that he didn’t think that the commentary was completely off base.
“Some of the commentary wasn’t that bad. It could’ve been worse…it was alright. They said some good stuff about me getting taken down but I kept getting back up, that I’ve got good cardio and that I wasn’t respecting him as I was giving him my back to get up.”
Check out Darren Stewart’s appearance on Eurobash. The interview begins at 20:30.