At UFC 256, Junior dos Santos suffered a TKO loss against Ciryl Gane, but the ending did not come without controversy. The finish came as a result of a standing elbow from Gane, but the placement of the elbow was dangerously close to the back of the head.
According to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, a blow to the back of the head from any position is still considered illegal, which would make the strike from Gane a foul if dos Santos is correct about the placement. Dos Santos laid out quite the extensive argument in protest of the official decision and also took umbrage at the fact that he was the only one speaking out against the finish.
Dos Santos also didn’t appreciate how nonchalant Ciryl Gane was about the whole episode. Until now, we have not heard Gane’s thoughts on the subject, but in an exclusive interview with MMA News, he addressed the subject in much more brevity than his counterpart did.
“I can understand his feeling because it was really close,” Gane said. “It was really tight with the elbow. But when the referee says, ‘OK, it was legal,’ I don’t understand why he keeps saying it wasn’t legal. So it’s a shame.”
To Gane’s point, it is not his job to determine when a fight should be stopped. It was a very close call for the referee to make and one that had to be made in real-time. The most unfortunate part about the outcome for dos Santos is not just that he suffered the loss but that it made for his fourth consecutive loss, with each defeat coming by way of KO/TKO. So in effect, the result of this contest may potentially lead to the UFC release of the legend as the company has begun making roster cuts in full stream.
Do you agree with the official decision of a KO/TKO victory for Ciryl Gane over Junior dos Santos at UFC 256?