Not so fast, says Marc Goddard, who oversaw Saturday’s pay-per-view main event. The veteran referee said there’s a big difference between what Prochazka did — patting Teixeira lightly on the side of his body as Teixeira attacked from top position — and a fighter who is tapping out.
“Lol,” Goddard responded on Twitter to a fan’s question about the move. “Jiri was actually congratulating [and] encouraging his opponent! He done it a couple of times and I told him it’s a risky game lol! But it’s very clear what he was doing and intending. Lets celebrate the incredible feat from both gentleman.”
Lol. Jiri was actually congratulating & encouraging his opponent! He done it a couple of times and I told him it’s a risky game lol! But it’s very clear what he was doing and intending. Lets celebrate the incredible feat from both gentleman. https://t.co/F2TU3FP3zN— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) June 12, 2022
The only official submission registered in the fight came in the fifth round, when Prochazka turned the tables on Teixeira and cinched a no-hooks rear-naked choke. It was his fourth career submission in over 30 fights.
Prochazka revealed afterward that he did, in fact, play mind games with Teixeira by talking to him in the middle of the fight. He did not address his “encouragement” during the press conference and wasn’t asked about it.
The light heavyweight champ wouldn’t be the first fighter to confuse the crowd by making such contact. UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture famously patted opponent Tito Ortiz on the rear end during a winning performance at UFC 44. In the case of Matt Lindland vs. Murilo Bustamante at UFC 37, a tap to an armbar was completely missed by referee John McCarthy, prompting a do-over that required Bustamante to secure a second submission for the win.
Teixeira has not protested the fight-ending sequence or anything leading up to it. He is requesting a rematch with the new champ.