There was much commotion at the end of Saturday night’s light heavyweight main-card bout between Jim Crute and Sam Alvey at UFC 234.
Alvey popped right up off the mat after referee Marc Goddard waved the bout off in the first round, looking no worse for wear, vigorously protesting the ruling of a Crute TKO victory in the first round of the matchup at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Not only did UFC president Dana White agree with the notion the fight was waved off too soon, but he also believes Goddard got important calls wrong twice over the course of the fight.
“The ref did a really, really bad job,” White said at the UFC 234 post-fight press conference. “Real poor refereeing in that fight.”
White believes Goddard’s first mistake came early in the bout, when the undefeated Crute dropped Alvey with a big right hand. Crute backed off after landing the hard shot rather than go in for the finish, believing the bout was waved off, a sequence White pinned on the referee.
“The ref screwed that up, too,” White said. “The ref jumped in there, and [Crute] thought the ref was breaking it up.
“When something like that happens, it could have cost Crute the fight, because if Alvey got back up and, you know — and then he goes to stop it too soon, then he stops it too early, in my opinion. It happens sometimes, and you know, it sucks for Sam.”
Then came the stoppage. Replays showed Alvey giving a thumbs-up to the referee as he was on the mat on his hands and knees. The replays also showed that at least half of the right hands Crute aimed at Alvey’s head missed the intended target, as Crute sprayed punches all over the place, from Crute’s arm to the mat to simply whiffing and catching air.
“I thought it was a bad stoppage,” White said. “A lot of those shots were hitting him on the arm, but he was obviously hurt, but the fight could’ve gone a little longer and we could’ve saw a little bit more of Crute. Bad stoppage in my opinion.”