UFC veteran Matt Brown would much rather see a late stoppage in one of his fights than an early one.
The promotion’s return to The Lone Star State delivered some of the best knockouts of 2023. Unfortunately, it also gave us one of the year’s worst stoppages. In the co-main event of the evening, Jalin Turner stunned his opponent, Bobby Green, with a big right hand that had ‘King’ on rubber legs. Smelling blood in the water, Turner moved in and dropped Green another big right hand.
From there, Turner pounced on Green, dropping a series of bombs while referee Kerry Hatley looked on. It was clear that Green’s lights had gone out at least twice before Hatley decided to step in, immediately earning criticism from fans online and the UFC Austin commentary team.
Dana White called it one of the worst stoppages he’s ever seen, but Matt Brown has a different perspective.
“It was amazing that the ref was standing there watching that happen without stopping it,” Brown said on the latest episode of The Fighter vs. The Writer. “That was amazing.
“But even though I’m not nearly as mad about that stoppage as I am some of the early stoppages, he absolutely gave him every chance, but you also have to wonder what was he thinking? How clear was it that he was completely out? He was out out.”
another angle of Jalin Turner’s late stoppage finish over Bobby Green pic.twitter.com/nff7YhawbN
— ᴍᴍᴀ ᴍᴀʀᴄᴜs 🏝️ (@mmamarcuss) December 5, 2023
Though he was still stunned by Hatley’s decision to stand by and watch Turner pummel Green unnecessarily, ‘The Immortal’ would much prefer to have a referee who lets things go on too long over one that jumps the gun and stops things too soon.
“I’m going to request Kerry Hatley in my fights,” Brown said. “Because I would rather that as a fighter than an early stoppage. Let the dude half-kill me. Like take a couple of years off my life. I don’t want this f*cking fight stopped.
“But I agree, it was egregious. It was absolutely f*cking ridiculous. Like what are you thinking? We’re literally watching like, what are you doing? The only worse stoppage was Yves Lavigne when I fought Pete Sell.”
Matt Brown Says MMA Referees Should Face Consequences For Their Actions Inside the Octagon
Fortunately, Bobby Green didn’t suffer any immediate injuries from the onslaught, but Brown can’t help but feel bad for Green who will likely pay for the damage in the long run while Hatley walks away from the situation unscathed.
“That wasn’t a couple of seconds late. That was way, way late,” Brown said. “He took a lot of shots and the referee is looking at him. I don’t know what he was thinking. He’s just watching this happen from two feet away. It’s absolutely ridiculous. That ref needs to be fired. There’s just no repercussions.
“From what I was reading on Twitter, Kerry Hatley’s done this before, and as the commission, we’re always going to lobby against the early stoppages. I’d rather be late than early, but the commission, their job is to protect the fighters. There needs to be consequences.”
Looking past the criticisms and the blatant error in judgment Hatley, Brown recognizes that referees have a very difficult job that gives them practically no room for error.
Even so, ‘The Immortal’ believes there was plenty of time for Hatley to register what was happening and to step in. After all, we’re not talking about a referee during his first day on the job.
“I always give them the benefit of the doubt, even on the stoppages that I hate, and the reason that I lobby that I’d rather see them be a little bit late is that I do give them the benefit of the doubt,” Brown said. “This is a split-second decision of a person’s career that you are controlling. If you go a little bit early, as mad as I am and as disgusted as I am, I do understand the high-pressure situation you’re in as a referee in that moment.
“In this particular situation, it’s a high-pressure situation but he had a long time to think about it. It wasn’t like it was a split second. It wasn’t like Dan Henderson-Michael Bisping, where the referee had a moment where he could have jumped in, but you never know what’s going to happen so Dan Henderson ends up getting off one big shot. This guy had like 15 seconds to sit there and think about it.”
What was your opinion on Kerry Hatley’s stoppage at UFC Austin?
Transcription by MMA Fighting