Last Saturday night at UFC Fight Night: Magny vs. Gastelum, one of the biggest topics of conversation was fighter safety. Specifically,both referee Gary Copeland and Scott Jorgensen’s corner were criticized for not stopping the Jorgensen vs. Alejandro Perez fight. Jorgensen, having suffered a leg injury could barely stand, repeatedly falling down before he finally tapped out. In light of the criticism of his coaches, Jorgensen tweeted this:
— Scott jorgensen (@Scottjorgensen) November 24, 2015
To sort out the situation, Marc Raimondi at MMAFighting talked to the sport’s senior official, “Big” John McCarthy. He explained that, in spite of many fighters being familiar with the Nevada rules that state that you can’t throw in a towel, “You can stop the fight anyway. It’s stupid.” In jurisdictions with a ban on throwing in the towel, you’re supposed to be able to notify an inspector who gets on the apron to signal the referee. Or you can just throw in the towel anyway with the loss officially coming by disqualification.
Of course, that doesn’t change that Jorgensen said he was outright told by the commission (in this case, the UFC’s regulatory arm for international cards) that the corner couldn’t stop the fight. The last time this was at issue was in June at the UFC’s previous Mexican card. There, Trevor Wittman tried to get the inspector to signal the referee when he felt Nate Marquardt was taking too much punishment from Kelvin Gastelum. The inspector said “I can’t,” so Wittman had to wait to stop it between rounds.
As for Copeland, McCarthy felt he was in a tough spot. His suggestion? Call a timeout so the doctor can check on Jorgensen.