Controversy came to the fore yet again at the UFC Apex during the preliminary card at UFC Fight Night: Covington vs Woodley. The referee in the line of fire too was the same from last week’s botched Ed Herman vs Mike Rodriguez fight. The incident took place in the women’s strawweight bout featuring Jessica-Rose Clark and Sarah Alpar. Mercifully, the dominant fighter won. However, at that moment fans may have experienced a sense of deja vu.
At 4:17 in the third round, a frustrated Rose Clark connected cleanly with a straight right. She had Alpar reeling, following which she caught hold of her head. A split second later ‘Jessy Jess’ kneed her opponent in the face.
Alpar remained on her haunches and seemed done. The referee Chris Tognoni believed so and waved off the fight immediately. As Rose Clark celebrated the cameras gave fans a glimpse of Alpar’s bloodied face.
Tognoni redeemed himself, but the question will remain. Why didn’t he hand ‘Jessy-Jess’ the TKO win earlier?
Following an uneventful two rounds, Rose Clark had Alpar on the back foot in the third. The 27-year-old fighter connected with a knee to the face as Alpar lost her footing.
In the UFC, a fighter can only be hit with a knee when their feet are touching the mat. This is what happened in the fight, but, the referee assumed the strike to be an illegal knee.
Tognoni’s decision to let the fight continue stunned the commentators. But the knee had done the intended damage. Alpar wasn’t able to get her bearings back despite the stoppage and lost the fight.
For Rose Clark, it was her maiden finish in the UFC. Though in retrospect, she will consider the fight as ‘the one where she unofficially secured two TKO wins in the same round’.
What did you make of this sequence of events? Should the UFC introduce video replays and provide referees the chance to rectify glaring oversights?
Continue the conversation on the app, join other MMA fans on MMA Fans App