Seeing two illegal knees occur on the same card is already uncommon, but at UFC 280 the foul not only occurred twice but was treated differently by the referee each time.
The event’s opening bout saw bantamweights Lina Länsberg and Karol Rosa square off, with Rosa emerging victorious via majority decision. The Brazilian likely could have had a clean sweep of the scorecards with her performance, but in the second round, Rosa landed a hard knee to Lansberg’s head while “Elbow Queen” still had a knee down.
After consulting with the ringside physician to make sure Länsberg could continue, the referee immediately took a point from Rosa before restarting the fight.
Although the foul isn’t a particularly common one in MMA, it only took a couple more fights at UFC 280 for it to occur again in a welterweight bout between Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Gadzhi Omargadzhiev.
Omargadzhiev had already been a victim of an illegal knee in his UFC debut against Caio Borralho, but in the second round of his fight with Nurmagomedov the 29-year-old once again ate a knee while he was down on the mat.
This knee appeared to be less significant than the one Rosa landed, but it was still a surprise when the referee chose to not take a point for the foul.
Nurmagomedov went on to win a unanimous decision, although a pair of 29-28 scorecards meant that a point deduction could have resulted in the fight being a draw.
MMA Twitter Reacts To Referee’s Treatment Of Fouls
A controversial foul is always going to attract some chatter, but seeing two illegal knees on the same event that were treated completely differently resulted in a number of reactions online.
Check out the full results and highlights from UFC 280 here, including the wins from Rosa and Nurmagomedov!