Sunday, November 28, 2021

Rockhold’s Coach “Pissed” Weidman Fight Wasn’t Stopped Sooner, Belfort Rematch Next?

While Chris Weidman‘s corner has stood by their decision not to stop the fight against Luke Rockhold at this past Saturday’s UFC 194 pay-per-view event, it has actually been Rockhold’s corner who has a problem with the savage beating Weidman was allowed to take during the final minute of the third round of their championship fight in Las Vegas this past weekend.

On Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour,” Javier Mendez spoke about the epic 185-pound title fight in the co-main event of the UFC 194 event.

In talking about the Rockhold-Weidman fight, Mendez pointed out that the wheel kick attempted by Weidman was a “colossal mistake.”

“That was a colossal mistake,” said Javier Mendez, longtime A.K.A. head coach and Rockhold’s cornerman for Saturday’s fight. “Because we didn’t know what was going to happen when someone was on top of Chris, or if Luke could stay on top of him. Luke proved what he said all along, that he felt he had the best MMA jiu-jitsu out there for top control, and he proved it.”

Where Mendez really got fired up was when the discussion shifted to the non-stop, savage beating that Weidman took in the final 60 seconds of the third round.

“Well, let’s put it this way, I was cussing,” Mendez said. “I was cussing. I was literally, just, f-ing pissed. And I’m not really blaming Herb, per se. I’m blaming the way the system is. It needs to be like boxing where we as corners don’t have to go to the doctor to stop the damn fight, where we just stand up in the cage or whatever and we throw the towel and the fight is over. It should be a simplified rule, just like boxing.

“Who knows the fighters better than the coaches, as far as what the fights can do and what they can’t do? Who knows them better? We do. Not the doctor, not the refs. We do. If we see our fighter and we know he’s going to take a beating, we should be able to throw the damn towel and without any interruptions from the doctor or anybody. And we shouldn’t be reprimanded from it.”

Mendez continued, “If anybody should be pissed it should be our fighters, ‘why’d you throw in the freaking towel,’ they’d have to deal with that. But I’m really angry about that because in Mexico, too, you had poor Scott Jorgensen. He was in the same scenario (against Alejandro Perez), and it’s like, goddamnit. This is a sport, and when you see things like that, it doesn’t make it too sporting for me. So I’m sorry I’m angry about it, but it just angers me that fighters are getting injured more than they need to because of one stupid rule that prohibits us from just doing a simple thing like boxing does.”

With the rule being what it is, Mendez also offered his speculation on what Matt Serra and Ray Longo were thinking in Weidman’s corner during the same final 60-seconds of the third round.

“It shouldn’t be looked down upon,” Mendez said. “If that’s the official rule, then it should be that, ‘hey, you guys, we encourage you. Know your fighters. Don’t let your fighters take the punishment.’ In this case, I bet you Ray Longo and Matt Serra were thinking, ‘f**k, I want to throw in the towel.’ I bet you they were. I bet you they weren’t thinking, ‘come on, Chris, pull out of it.’ I bet you they were thinking, ‘what the f**k is going on?!’

“They care so much about their guys and they’re such great coaches, I know they were thinking the same thing. There should be a clear understanding of how we need to stop these fights, because Chris didn’t need to take that unnecessary punishment. He did not. And I dare anybody to disagree with me.”

As is the case in any interview conducted shortly after a dominant game-changing performance, Mendez was asked who he feels his fighter, Luke Rockhold, should step into the Octagon with for his first defense.

Rockhold himself has made it clear that he’s not exactly thrilled with the idea of fighting Yoel Romero, but would jump at the chance to erase the only blemish on his career record, a knockout loss to “Super” Vitor Belfort, as he “wasn’t exactly himself” the first time the two fought.

A.K.A. coach Javier Mendez agrees.

“In a perfect world, I want Belfort (next),” Mendez said. “Because Luke wants him, so I want what Luke wants. So in perfect world, I want Belfort.”

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