Note: This is my Crunch Time column I wrote for the May 18 issue of the Cheney Free Press.
If a fighter commits a foul — say, an illegal punch, kick or knee — against their opponent, without the intention to do so, should they still be disqualified?
The answer is “yes,” according to most fans who watched last Saturday’s UFC 211 broadcast. During the preliminary portion of the event, the fight between Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier ended in a no contest ruling.
During the second round, Alvarez landed three knees to Poirier’s head. Poirier had his hand on the mat when Alvarez delivered the first knee. Both of Poirier’s legs were on the ground when Alvarez’s second and third blows struck him in the head and couldn’t continue the fight. Referee Herb Dean ruled the fight a “no contest,” after declaring that Alvarez’s illegal knees were unintentional, much to the chagrin of fans who thought he purposely landed the knees and should have been disqualified.
Fans weren’t the only people who not happy with Dean’s ruling. Both commentator Brian Stann and UFC President Dana White felt Alvarez should have been disqualified, as did I. I don’t think Alvarez was trying to cheat to win, and he may have not seen Poirier’s positioning when he landed those knees, but the rules are in place for a reason and he broke them, whether he meant to or not. Look at other sports. Players get called for fouls for breaking the rules, even if they had no intention of doing so.
To read the rest of the column, follow the link.