In the fourth round of a very close fight, Demetrious Johnson landed an illegal knee to the head of John Dodson, prompting a pause in the fight and a stern warning from referee “Big” John McCarthy. The move happened when Johnson had Dodson pinned against the cage with his hand down and the former Ultimate Fighter winner put his hand on the mat, which signifies a “down fighter”, which then makes knees to the head illegal.
While UFC President Dana White doesn’t necessarily agree with the rule and how fighters tempt fate by place their hand on the mat simply to avoid that particular strike, he believes Johnson should have been penalized for the infraction.
“I hate the hand down, I hate that “if I put my hand down, I don’t have to get kneed in the face”. I don’t like it. The reason that that’s there is for soccer kicks or knees when a guy is really down, not just technical “oh I’m down”, I don’t like it,” White told Fuel TV after the fights ended.