There will be a debate for days followed by a slew of slow motion replays as the world tries to decipher if Melvin Guillard's knee strikes landed on Ross Pearson were legal or illegal after the bout was stopped and declared a no contest.
The altercation happened in a hurry as Guillard tossed Pearson to the mat and uncorked two huge knee strikes in a row as the British fighter feigned and attempted to get up from the ground during the melee. Because Pearson's hand appeared to be down during one of the knee strikes, referee Marc Goddard stepped in and stopped the fight to warn Guillard about the infraction.
Unfortunately one of the knees caused a giant gash to open up on Pearson's forehead, which the doctor deemed too deep to allow the fight to continue and the action was stopped before it ever really got started.
"Mega-disappointed. The fight was just getting warmed up," Pearson said about the fight after it ended. "It was looking like it was going to be an amazing fight. I felt great in there, everything was going to plan. We were scrapping it out, got caught in a transition and unfortunately accidents happen. I never felt hurt, I never got rocked."
The worst part about the stoppage for both fighters is that the cut is something that neither man could control. The doctors make the final call in a situation like that, and it leaves both Guillard and Pearson at the mercy of the ruling unable to finish the bout the way they wish it could end.
While stoppages due to cuts are always controversial, there is no doubt that the laceration on Pearson's forehead was pretty severe given his diagnosis at the post fight press conference.
"I asked the referee to keep going and the doctor said no it was too deep. About 32 stitches in my forehead," Pearson reavealed. "I'm pretty disappointed."
If there is a bright side to the entire situation it's the fact that Guillard and Pearson will get the chance to do it all over again and settle the score once and for all.
The UFC announced following the event that they will rematch the two lightweight sluggers in a fight at the upcoming event on March 8, 2014 in London, England headlined by Alexander Gustafsson against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.