Saturday night Josh Barnett defeated Frank Mir by Referee Stops Contest (Strikes, Round 1, 1:56). However, the stoppage by the highly-regarded Rob Hinds was controversial.
"F---ing ridiculous stoppage!!!!" tweeted UFC presiden Dana White immediately after the stoppage. "The guys with experience make mistakes. That guy had no business being in the Co Main event!"
Frank Mir too expressed similar sentiments at the post-fight press conference.
"Obviously I thought it was a bad stoppage," said Mir. "We're fighters. If every fight was stopped on any kind of a flash shot or anything like that — actually, I took the knee, and I remember going, 's--- I'm in a bad position.' And that's why I dropped my other knee out from underneath me so that could fall to the ground and make sure I didn't take a second one. I didn't belly out, I didn't flatten out, and I actually tried to redig my underhook so that i could get a single. And I actually looked at the referee stopping it.
"And then at first I thought, maybe I was out? Did I take a bunch of shots that didn't see? And then after watching it, I was conscious the whole time. Even when I stood up I wasn't wobbled, I was completely coherent. So at best your argument is it was a flash knock down. I didn't know fights stopped on that. If that was the case I never would have beaten [Antonio Rodrigo] Nogueira, I don't think we would have seen Travis Browne knock out [Alistair] Overeem last week. There are too many fights in our sport that are exciting, and you've got to let us fight. I didn't sign up for a tennis match. It's nothing against Josh, he's a great fighter and he did what he had to do."
"I think the fans got robbed. I got screwed over. The fact that I trained so hard for that fight to keep up a pace that I knew I could have driven hard through for three rounds. Say what you will about Jackson's camp and game planning, everybody comes in shape. I showed up in shape on the scale, I showed up in shape out there, with my motivation — it sucks to do everything right and just have the door shut on you."
Perhaps surprisingly Barnett too felt the stoppage was early.
"I actually do feel that it was an early stoppage," said The Warmaster. "I would always prefer to get the clean finish."
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