Brandon Vera may have changed weight classes at the UFC’s, um, suggestion, but he isn’t forgetting about his plan to return to heavyweight and settle his score with Fabricio Werdum. In an article on CBS Sportsline Vera looks back on the fight and addresses the notion of whether the stoppage might have been justifiable, given the situation:
“Justifiable? That shouldn’t even be in that sentence, man. That was an (expletive) (expletive) call. I was talking, having a conversation with the referee, telling him I’m OK, and then he stops the fight. I wanted to know what I could have said. ‘I’m fine?’ ‘Everything is spectacular?’ What else was I supposed to say to the referee? Justifiable? That word should not be used in conjunction with that fight, ever.”
Man, do I love it when someone follows an expletive with an expletive. It really lets you know how they’re feeling, and it’s almost more powerful to write “(expletive)(expletive)” rather than just print the actual words.
That quote does, however, bring up the topic of what justifies a stoppage. Vera was certainly in a bad spot, but does the fact that he was capable of having this conversation with the referee mean that it shouldn’t have been stopped, even if he was eating some punches? If we’re going to by the spirit of the rule — which is to protect a fighter who isn’t “intelligently defending himself” — it would seem so.
Vera seems content to lay all the blame at Dan Miragliotta’s door, even making it a little personal.
“I watched the Kimbo fight and thought, ‘Man, that ref sucks. I hope I don’t get him in my fight.’ Usually in the locker room the referee will come to you to go through the rules. I didn’t see him until I was in the Octagon, and then it was too late.”
That’s a moment that will make your heart sink. I imagine it’s a lot like having your fight go to decision and then looking over and seeing “Sensei” Cecil Peoples sitting next to the Octagon.