(Video courtesy of YouTube/TapouTNews)
TapouT’s Mike Straka recently caught up with Frankie Edgar to see how the UFC lightweight champ’s back rehab is coming along and an interesting nugget came out of the conversation. Apparently Edgar’s New Jersey-based boxing trainer Mark Henry was calling for the towel to be thrown in during the trouncing Edgar took in his January 1 UFC 125 bout with Gray Maynard.
Edgar said that Henry’s emotions got the best of him, and he mistakenly says it wouldn’t have mattered had he thrown in the towel as it isn’t a recognized gesture in the UFC. I guess “The Answer” never saw Royce Gracie‘s corner throw in the towel prior to the start of his bout with Harold Howard at UFC 3.
Technically, the towel throw (or corner stoppage) is a foul that is usually punishable by the opposing fighter being awarded the win due to disqualification or a point deduction at the discretion of the referee, which would have seen Maynard take the round by a 10-7 margin.
Here’s the list of fouls under UFC rules:
1. Butting with the head.
2. Eye gouging of any kind.
4. Hair pulling.
5. Fish hooking.
6. Groin attacks of any kind.
7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent.
8. Small joint manipulation.
9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head.
10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow.
11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.
13. Grabbing the clavicle.
14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.
16. Stomping a grounded opponent.
17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel.
18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck.
19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.
20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent.
21. Spitting at an opponent.
22. Engaging in an unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent.
23. Holding the ropes or the fence.
24. Using abusive language in the ring or fenced area.
25. Attacking an opponent on or during the break.
26. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.
27. Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat.
28. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.
29. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury.
30. Interference by the corner.
31. Throwing in the towel during competition.
In other words, Edgar lucked out that Henry didn’t have a towel, or he may have lost his belt. Instead, he roared back to eke out a draw against Maynard and ensured a rematch.
Here’s transcript of the interview for those who can’t watch the video:
Mike Straka: Watching the fight, I don’t know if you know this, but watching the fight — your second fight with Gray on January 1 this year, on UFC.com when you have the multiple angles and multiple audio feeds, did you know that Mark Henry was calling to throw in the towel?
Frankie Edgar: Yeah, I think that he was getting a little overwhelmed — a little excited. Out of everybody in my corner who knows enough stuff, I don’t think it was an issue. I don’t think anyone else was calling for that. I think Mark, he just puts so much into us and he’s so passionate that it kinda got ahold of him for that one round.
Mike Straka: When you hear that though, you know he’s coming from a place of really a big heart and he loves you like a little brother, but if that had happened, you would have kicked his ass, wouldn’t you have?
Frankie Edgar: I would have. I told him afterwards when I heard he was calling for the towel, which I don’t think you can throw the towel in in the UFC, which is a good thing. But I told him, “Dude, don’t you EVER throw the towel in.