Curtis Blaydes earned a TKO victory at UFC 217, but it wasn’t without confusion.
Bladyes looked to be on the verge of finishing Alexey Oleinik when disaster nearly struck. With Oleinik down, Blaydes threw an illegal kick. The toes barley touched Oleinik’s ear. Oleinik could no longer continue and the fight was called off.
Many feared that Blaydes would receive a disqualification for a blow that basically whiffed and didn’t cause damage. Upon the use of replays, Blaydes was awarded the TKO victory.
During a recent appearance on MMA Junkie Radio, renowned referee “Big” John McCarthy gave his take on how the situation was handled:
“Blaydes did something that was illegal. He threw a kick and he did touch the ear of Alexey Oleinik. Blake Grice comes in, he calls a stop to the action. When he calls a stop to the action, he separates the fighters – he does exactly what he’s supposed to do.”
McCarthy then said awarding Blaydes a TKO win was the right call.
“So what was he damaged by? Was he damaged by a foul or was he damaged by legal blows? Well, he was damaged by legal blows. All of the blows that hurt him and made it to where the doctors are now saying, ‘He is unable to continue’ were all done legally in that fight. What stopped the fight was an illegal action by Blaydes. He ends up throwing a kick. Did the kick touch Alexei? Yes, it did. It touched his ear. Did it have any effect? Did it hurt him? No. It had no effect on any of the damage he had occurred.”