NAC executive director Bob Bennett responds to Conor McGregor’s criticism about the refereeing in the MayMac fight.
Conor McGregor was not happy with Robert Byrd’s conduct in the Floyd Mayweather fight.
Byrd, a Hall of Fame boxing referee, called a stop to the fight in the 10th round after McGregor took a heavy barrage of unanswered shots against the ropes.
The Irishman was disappointed with the stoppage and called out Byrd for trying to ‘wrestle’ him off Mayweather in the clinch exchanges.
“Every time we tied he literally wrestled me off him. It is what it is, I knew I wasn’t going to get a fair shake out there,” McGregor told Caroline Pearce last week.
Byrd, who referees under the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC), hasn’t responded but NAC executive director Bob Bennett made a statement to MMA Fighting on Sunday.
“All I can say is we did our job,” Bennett said. “That’s what we get paid to do and that’s what we did. I find it very disappointing that Conor would make derogatory remarks that the fight was stopped too early when really the timing of referee Robert Byrd’s stoppage was impeccable. We looked out for his health and safety.”
McGregor, who made his professional boxing debut against ‘Money’, wasn’t knocked down but took a lot of blows to the head and wasn’t defending himself.
Bennett, who thinks McGregor did a ‘phenomenal job’, insists that Byrd made the right call and emphasized that fighter safety is of the utmost importance.
“We did everything we could to ensure it was a level playing field,” Bennett said. “I think the fight was very exciting. The fans loved it. The health and safety of the fighter was always at the forefront, from the beginning of the fight.
“There’s no doubt Conor did a phenomenal job, fighting a future Hall of Famer. Obviously, Floyd had his game plan that worked as well. The actual stoppage, we looked out for the health and safety of the fighter, which is our responsibility.”
McGregor, the current UFC lightweight champion, has promised to return to the Octagon to defend his title and ‘legitimize’ the rankings. The SBG Ireland talent is expected to return to action in the New Year.