Former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz was stopped at 4:58 of the second round of his 145-pound title challenge against newly retired Henry Cejudo, who retained the belt at UFC 249 last weekend. Talking to Megan Olivi on ESPN post-fight he said the referee, who called it a day, “smelt like alcohol and cigarettes“. The third man inside the Octagon was Keith Peterson. Sports commentator Jon Anik reacted to the situation.
“I had seconds left in the round,” Dominick Cruz said. “I just think that sometimes, I wish that there was a way to keep these refs a little more responsible sometimes. The guy smelt like alcohol and cigarettes. So who knows what he was doing.”
[Did he really?] “Definitely. I wish they drug tested them.”
Jon Anik, who is “cherished friends” and had worked with Cruz during UFC on FUEL broadcast, took it to Twitter to express his feeling about the situation.
“Dominick Cruz is one of my most cherished friends, Anik wrote. “That said, I have so much respect for MMA referee Keith Peterson and his track record as one of the best in the business. It’s fair to question the stoppage, but I do not like to see his character getting assassinated.”
Dominick Cruz is one of my most cherished friends. That said, I have so much respect for MMA referee Keith Peterson and his track record as one of the best in the business. It's fair to question the stoppage, but I do not like to see his character getting assassinated. #UFC249
— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) May 12, 2020
No official statement has reportedly been made to date by Keith Peterson regarding the controversy.
However, (as of writing) a not verified Twitter account “KPetersonMMA” shares a (somewhat) reaction. It is unclear whether it is in fact Keith Peterson, who makes the posts. Check out several below.
“Do you know what’s worse then Dominick Cruz’s body being very prompt to injuries? His commentary.”
“Dominick Cruz I thought by stopping the fight I stopped you from getting CTE but I guess not.”
“You’re taking everything I worked for, mother f*cker. I’m gonna fight your f*cking ass.”
“I will stop making jokes about Dominick because one bad joke could cause him to be out for another 5 years.”
It was the first fight of Dominick Cruz (22-3) since December 2016 when he dropped a unanimous decision against Cody Garbrandt and lost UFC bantamweight title.