Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
Drew Dober looked utterly confused when referee Eduardo Herdy halted his UFC Fight Night bout against Leandro Silva in the second round and awarded a victory to his Brazilian opponent.
He wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
While Silva was threatening Dober with a guillotine choke in the lightweight bout, all signs pointed to the American surviving the maneuver. Not only was Dober actively defending the hold, but he was in his foe’s half guard and perhaps on the verge of escape.
Like most of the MMA community, UFC President Dana White was outraged by Herdy’s ruling.
“Supposedly, the referee is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. That was so far from a tap,” White said in an interview on Fox Sports 1. “We’re gonna pay [Dober] his win money. It just sucks. Not only was he not in danger at that point, he was about to take the dominant position and could possibly do damage and win the fight.”
Silva-Dober was Herdy’s sixth time refereeing a fight in the UFC. It might very well be his last.
“When the referee affects the outcome of a fight as badly as this guy did, it was horrible,” White said. “It was one of the biggest referee screw-ups of all time.”
For now, the bout goes down as a victory on Silva’s resume. Shortly after the fight, MMAFighting.com spoke to Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission Chairman Rafael Favetti, who said that Dober has 15 days to appeal the result in hopes of having it overturned to a no contest.
White can’t guarantee that justice will be served, but he does have a strong opinion on what the Brazilian commission should do.
“It should absolutely, positively be a no contest,” he said. “It’s probably going to be tough to do because these athletic commissions, they protect their own. They’ll back up their refs, but this one is so blatant, so bad, I just don’t see how you don’t overturn this and make this a no contest.”