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Why Yves Lavigne Was Getting Booed on Saturday…

(Props: MMA Bloodbath)

If you were paying attention during UFC 98, you probably noticed that every time referee Yves Lavigne was introduced, he was booed as if the crowd just saw a video of him farting on sandwiches. No, it wasn’t leftover hate from the Brown/Sell fiasco — the crowd actually turned on him thanks to his controversial handling of the preliminary match between Kyle Bradley and TUF 8 lightweight finalist Phillipe Nover. Taking a look at the video above, we see the following…

2:10: Bradley lands a short right that seems to rattle Nover.

2:13-2:15: Bradley tosses Nover down like a child and smashes him with the kind of punch that could theoretically knock somebody out. In the background, Joe Silva does his usual freak-out. Lavigne is on high alert at this point.

2:17-2:18: Bradley nails Nover with two more punches directly to his temple. Nover crawls over to grab Bradley’s leg, but his movement is a little too slow and Lavigne jumps in to stop the fight.

2:19-2:31: Nover rolls to avoid more punches then brings his legs up to keep Bradley at bay. Lavigne finally gets Bradley under control, and Nover jumps up. He tries to invoke the "what the fuck is your problem?" rule, to no avail.

2:32-2:52: Joe Rogan calls it a "terrible, terrible decision by Yves Lavigne…We need to come up with a rule, when a referee makes a decision like that and he screws up, they let ‘em fight again."

3:16-3:21: Goldberg: "Now let’s see exactly what happened at the end of that fight, Joe, on our Bud Light Replay, the difference is drinkability."

Look, that Bud Light Replay says it all. Nover’s shoulder hit the mat like he went to sleep, and Lavigne, in my opinion, can’t be faulted for jumping in. Obviously in retrospect, the fight should have continued, but Yves reacted correctly to what he saw at the time. In other words, I don’t think this incident should drop Lavigne in the P4P referee rankings — though he might be on the fans’ shitlist for a few months.

What do you think? Did Lavigne do his job poorly, or a little too well?


  1. Levi Jones Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 11:58

    Looked clean to me. A KO is a KO. The refs shouldn't take chances. He was definitely out when Yves stopped it. Recuperative abilities should not necessarily be a deciding factor for why a fight is allowed to continue. Not to mention, the fact that Yves grabbed his arms is what stopped him from seperating Nover from his faculties a second time.
  2. Art Gibs Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:00

    Lavigne's choice to stop the fight was fine based on the information available to him at the time. All he saw was Nover go limp after taking several shots to the dome. Of course, he couldn't have known that Nover has Wolverine levels of recovery and would be good to go only a second later. It was a good decision, but an unfortunate one.
  3. mayhem Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:03

    Nover was done... the only reason he rolled over was due to Lavigne stepping in... which gave him a break in getting clobbered. Good call to stop it I think.
  4. Dante Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:04

    good stop. Tough job. Why would you guys link to farting on sandwiches? WTF
  5. Bare Grappler Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:05

    I like to see refs err on the side of caution. Just because a guy drops doesn't mean he is out. Yes, Nover drops on his shoulder but he is still facing when Lavigne steps in. It's a very fast situation and can see why he stopped it, I just think it should have gone for a couple more strikes before it was stopped because Bradley wasn't even in great control of the situation yet. I did not see a spot where Nover wasn't intelligently defending himself.
  6. Dr. Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:08

    Lavigne had reflexes like a cat on that one. I guess Mike Brown/Pete Sell was on his mind. And no real fan wants to see a guy get beat on when he is lying there face-down, defenseless. Good point on how Lavigne's interruption stopped Kyle's hands for that second and it allowed Nover to flip over. Kyle would've probably jumped on him to hold him face-down in side control and reigned some more blows. Damned if you do. Damned if you don't. Lavigne made the best call he could make with the info available. He was quick to pounce in there, which, if Nover stayed down, they would have praised his reaction time.
  7. Jugger Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:08

    Looked like a fair stoppage to me. When a fighter falls face first on a canvas with a limb crumpled awkwardly it is the ref's discretion to stop the fight. Furthermore, Nover put himself in that position. Lavign is known for letting guys take tons of punishment (check out Marcus Davis' fight with Paul Kelly or Herring vs. Big Nog) and when he got in so much trouble for second-guessing the Brown vs Lytle fight... he's probably tightening his reigns a little big. If a ref gets in trouble for letting fights go too long, don't be surprised if takes no chances on the next card. This one, however, was Nover's fault.
  8. C-Bus Allstar Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:11

    First of all, the only reason this is being discussed is because Kyle Bradley so fervently attempted to keep attacking Phillipe Nover. Nover was out when Lavigne jumped in.. The only reason it looks like a bad call was because Bradley kept going instead of running away while Nover was out cold. Was a good stoppage, if Lavigne could have stopped it when he FIRST attempted to stop it. Nover was out cold when Lavigne first put his hands on Bradley, but Bradley didn't back off and so it looked like a bad stoppage. Still a good call by Yves, however, I do think it would be a good idea for Referee's to be mandated to review footage of previous fights of both fighters to get a sense of when someone is REALLY knocked out.
  9. BackbaconBilly Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:17

    It def looked like the 2nd shot when Nover's left shoulder was down that it was time for Lavign(sp) to step in and stop the fight, had he allowed Bradley to hit him a couple more times then Nover may have really been hurt. Tough but good call.
  10. LockDown Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:20

    Death is the limit.
  11. Polish Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:23

    These early/late stoppages are getting ridiculous. They really need to come up with some sort of system that everyone agrees on. And I am not so sure Nover was out, he was in a funny position but I think that was just part of him trying to roll out. Oh well, don't matter now...
  12. Spotpuff Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:24

    Joe Rogan is out of line on that, considering how limp Nover went. People jumped all over him for a "late" stoppage on Rampage vs Vanderlei, which was over in a split second. Nover shouldn't have gone limp and try to eat octagon flooring if he didn't want the fight stopped. Good call by Yves.
  13. VEe Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:26

    Bad stoppage.
  14. Osama Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:27

    Perfect stoppage. Nover went limp a fraction of a second before Yves stopped it, that is ALL THAT COUNTS. I am not necessarily a fan of any specific referee and Yves definitely could NOT have done a better job.
  15. Art Gibs Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:33

    This is off topic, but did anyone else notice how when Machida hit Evans with a minute to go in the first, he kicked and punched Evans nearly at the same time. Machida kicks with the left, then before his left foot is down, the left punch comes in. Has anyone else seen anything like that? Amazing.
  16. a platypus Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:39

    Yves did his job, Nover went limp and it's irrelevant that he snapped back in consciousness almost immediately.
  17. Old_Bald_and_Irish Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:40

    3:29 mark says it all. Nover's left arm collapses and his face is in the mat. At this point, he's not transitioning, he's becoming parallel to the canvas. Yves has a perfect view and when he sees that, he calls it. Good call by Yves. Unfortuantely, Nover came outta that REAL fast and did start transitioning but it was after Yves made his call. What people have to remember is that the refs have the responsibility of the fighters safety in their hands. That's pretty serious. If they err on the side of caution, so be it. But the refs are doing this for the fighters safety. You just can't screw around with that. Is it just me or have the past six months just been full of these flash KOs/flash recoveries? It would be nice if they could come up with a rule to address this. My suggestion would have been that at the 3:33-3:35 mark, if you see the fighter has recovered, control the attacker, immediately stand up the fighter who flash recovered. If they look very wobbley or fall back down: fights over. If they seem OK, immediately restart where they are on their feet. I'm sure Bradley's happy with the win, but winning that way feels just a little hollow. Nover could have continued.
  18. Fedor fan Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:49

    Change the rules, let the ref change his mind. He did apologize both fighter aftewords...
  19. Polish Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 12:56

    Sadly I think they need to adopt something like Boxing. Not a standing 8 count but if the guy recovers before the fight is truly stopped then GTFO of the way and let them continue. It's bullshit that fights like Herring/Nog got to continue but this one didn't. People are KO'd for nano seconds on their feet all the time but clinch tight or go for a take down or something to get their wits back about them. Nover may have been out, but it was literally for less then a second. That is bullshit if you ask me. If when the fight restarts he keeps getting hammered or goes out again, then stop it. I don't even really care about this specific fight but you can't change the fucking way you ref each time, Sell/Brown compared to this makes me think someone is paying this fucker off to make these calls. Does anyone else get suspicious? I mean that is a pretty strange to go from letting the fighter get the shit kicked out of him to stopping a fight after the guy was already recovered.
  20. Crap Factory Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 01:03

    Why does Lavigne still have a job? It certainly looks like Nover was out, but for less than a second before he regained his composure. I can understand why he stopped the fight but I think it was done too quickly. Refs should do a 2 second count (unless it's painfully obvious) when a fighter goes down. It would give the fighter a chance without risking too much. Thankfully Yves Lavigne doesn't referee in my area. I know I've been knocked a little silly before and thankfully had a second or two to recover and keep fighting.
  21. Spotpuff Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 01:18

    Sounds like what boxing does, which is a recipe for repeat concussions.
  22. Dojima Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 01:19

    Why do we American fans suck? We boo a knockout that a dude may or may not have have recovered from quickly, while the Japanese fans roar like a volcano and and an earthquake are having hot make-up sex in a hurricane for the weak fights that were most of the Super Hulk tournament... And the Japanese pay more for this shit than we do.
  23. BackbaconBilly Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 01:43

    The Ref's will never be perfect, there is only 2 ways of making the call, you either let the fighter who is dominating continue to rain down bombs until it is an absolute that the losing fighter is knocked out or you step in and err on the side of safety,its one or the other.
  24. Fight Fan Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 01:45

    Rogan at 3:25 - "He did go limp there for a second but I think he was just transitioning". LOL! That might be the funniest thing I've ever heard out of Rogan.
  25. Hamma Fist Elbow Bam-Bam Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 01:48

    Agreed, that was a good stoppage. Sucks for Phillipe, but he definitely went out, if only for a second.
  26. just some dong Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 01:53

    Good stoppage, shit fans.
  27. 831 Son Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 02:00

    The rule sounded good to me that Joe Rogan brought up. The stoppage was mostly justified though.
  28. raspberrymight Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 02:06

    It's a shame really, I can see why people who paid good money to go see the fight live would complain that they thought it was an early stoppage. On the other hand, as many have mentioned before Yves has gotten himself into a lot of shit for late stoppages and Nover was definately out, even if only for a second, he may have recovered quickly, but even if he had the chance to roll over he still would have been rocked. The bottom line is that mma is a brutal sport and there wouldnt be a future for a lot of up and comers like Nover if he was continually allowed to get his melon pounded on while he was unconscious Hang in there Yves, we know you're doing your job right
  29. Harry Russo Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 02:23

    Yves shows bias towards french and french canadian fighters.
  30. Sneaky Pete Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 02:28

    "These early stoppages have to stop" It's easy to say that until someone takes a solid shot when they're out and takes some permanent damage. Do you know what that would do to the sport? Not to mention the unfortunate fighter who is counting on the ref to use his judgement in these circumstances. In my opinion the Ref bears the brunt of the responsibility to stop the fight, but when a fighter is clearly out and the fighter Tees off a few times for good measure, waiting for the ref to tell him or her to stop is also responsible for inordinate damage. I hope the sport can survive when something catastrophic does happen and all the questions come flying in, "Did you do everything you could to minimize the potential for permanent injury?"
  31. NECROPHYTE Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 02:29

    It's cuz Yves Lavigne is FRENCH-Canadian and history tells us that French people don't like to fight and will retreat plus they kinda smell like B.O. to top it off.
  32. Marcer Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 03:26

    Sort of the same as the Pete Sell fight, in that it's not the early stoppage as much as the complete indecisiveness of it. Lavigne has a tendency to jump in earlier than some other refs, but then in the middle of trying to break it up he decides it can go on and backs off.
  33. Nippletwist Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 03:58

    i think he did his job the way the ufc wants him to do it, but not the way i want him to. i say let em fight a little more than that. i think part of a fight is your ability to recover, it's a potential aspect of a good fighter, a guy who can comeback from being rocked. but if you stop a fight right away when a guy gets rocked you remove that aspect of the sport, and i don't like that.
  34. NECROPHYTE Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 04:01

    Japanese refs let the shit go on til someone's completely destroyed.
  35. Cathedron Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 05:36

    I feel for Yves. I really do. But that was bad and Yves knew it almost immediately. Nover did go limp for a second, but was already scrambling as soon as Yves started to move in. Still, it wouldn't have looked so bad if he hadn't "pulled a Lavigne" and let the fight go for a bit before once again stepping forward and calling it. He should have looked more decisive, at least.
  36. sPeLLcHeCkEr Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 06:34

    Wow, are we really still doing the French jokes? Get in the ring with GSP then, and test your theory. I initially hated the call too, but after the replay I realized that a lot of that emotion was misguided, coming off of that bad call during the Sell/Brown fight. He made the right decision here, just like an umpire calls an inside fastball that does, upon replay, catch the plate. I'm still hating on Mazzagatti. I'm sorry, but he makes any other referee look like Big John by comparison. I personally still can't get over the Serra/Hughes debacle and the excruciating amount of smothering that Mazz just couldn't resist watching. You guys wanna talk horrible reffing, let's talk about him.
  37. NECROPHYTE Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 06:39

    Hell, I haven't even seen Mazz ref lately. Did he even work this weekend?
  38. karate is back Says:

    Tue, 05/26/09 - 07:13

    horrible stoppage. i wouldn't want lavigne costing someone a championship with a call like that. and if Nover gets cut from the UFC based on losing this second fight, it's bullshit.
  39. Blackleg Says:

    Wed, 05/27/09 - 06:12

    What kind of a fucking world are we living in where Lavigne is booed but Mazzagatti is not. Travesty. Good stoppage though for what he was looking at.
  40. mark mania Says:

    Wed, 12/04/13 - 05:56

    Why Yves Lavigne Was Getting Booed on Saturday... | Cagepotato... Seeking ahead to studying extra from you afterward!......
  41. urlman cow Says:

    Tue, 04/08/14 - 01:02

    The Ships's Voyages... I feel technologies just causes it to be worse. Now there is a channel to never treatment, now there wouldn't be a likelihood for them to discover....

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