Monday, March 1, 2021

Dana White Criticizes Cageside Doctor For UFC on ESPN+ 31 Headliner

UFC president Dana White believes the cageside doctor for the UFC on ESPN+ 31 main event was inexperienced.

On Aug. 1, UFC on ESPN+ 31 took place inside the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event, Derek Brunson collided with the previously unbeaten Edmen Shahbazyan. Brunson handed Shahbazyan the first loss of his pro MMA career via third-round TKO.

Dana White Believes Cageside Doctor Was Inexperienced

Speaking to reporters during the UFC on ESPN+ 31 post-fight press conference, White expressed his belief that the doctor should’ve waved the fight off before the beginning of the third round (h/t MMAJunkie).

“Shahbazyan looked like he was out at the end of that round,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at the post-fight news conference. “I think that the doctor could have stopped … first of all, the doctor’s obviously inexperienced. I don’t know anything about the doctor, but I’ve never seen him before.”

White also shared his dismay over the long conversation the doctor had with referee Herb Dean as he felt the time wasted did Brunson a disservice. White feels the doctor hesitated on making a decision and should’ve been able to make the proper assessment quickly. While things ultimately didn’t pan out for Shahbazyan, White didn’t like that the doctor gave him ample time to try to recover.

The doctor was appointed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. This was the UFC’s first event since the end of its first trip to “Fight Island” on July 25. During the trip, the UFC was in charge of the officials, judges, and doctors.