In the co-main event, Jalin Turner blasted Bobby Green with a pair of right hands that sent the veteran lightweight down face-first to the canvas. Green appeared to already be out, however referee Kerry Hatley allowed the fight to continue as Turner jumped on top and began hammering away at Green with punches.
“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.”
As stunned as Brown was with Hatley’s decision to allow the fight to continue, he would still ultimately prefer that outcome over the numerous instances where he’s seen officials pull the trigger too early, thus robbing a fighter of a chance to survive and come back.
Yet despite the desire to always get the benefit of the doubt in his own fights, Brown says what happened with Turner vs. Green was far beyond reason.
“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****** fight stopped.
“But I agree, it was egregious. It was absolutely f******* 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.”
While sources close to Green confirmed to MMA Fighting that he didn’t suffer any serious injuries as a result of the late stoppage, he still absorbed a lot of undue punishment because Hatley failed to halt the action on time.
According to Brown, the biggest issue surrounding a bad call like that is how Green paid for the mistake with his health while Hatley will likely face no real blow back for his actions.
“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.”
Brown acknowledges that referees have a very difficult job that requires them to make a judgment call where there’s almost zero room for error, especially knowing how much is on the line for the fighters involved.
That being said, the 42-year-old welterweight believes what Hatley did was particularly terrible just because there was no question that Green was done after he dropped face-first to the canvas.
“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.”