Pearson vs Guillard controversy

October 26, 2013

No Contest.

That was the decision in the co-main event of the evening in Manchester, England as the lightweight match-up between British favorite Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard was marred by controversy.

A little over 90 seconds in the bout, Pearson attempted a flying knee attack that Guillard defended, partially catching him in the air. The two fell to the canvas, Guillard getting to his feet first, where he unloaded a pair of quick, powerful knees to the head of Pearson. Referee Marc Goddard jumped in to stop the action right away, a sizable gash having opened on Pearson’s head.

The doctor assessed the cut and deemed Pearson unable to continue (he needed 32 stitches to close the wound after the bout) and bout was waved off, declared a No Contest, as Goddard identified Pearson as a downed opponent when the second knee connected, an unintentional foul according to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.

Replays would show that while the first knee was legal, the second blow was close, as Pearson’s hand appears to reach the floor after Guillard is in the process of throwing the fight-ending knee.

At the post-fight press conference, UFC executive Garry Cook announced the two would face each other in a rematch when the UFC returns to London on March 8, 2014.

Check out the video above and decide for yourself – was it an illegal blow or did the referee make the wrong call?