Ultimate Fighting Championship
Roy Nelson explains why he pushed referee 'Big' John McCarthy after KO
Ultimate Fighting Championship

Roy Nelson explains why he pushed referee 'Big' John McCarthy after KO

Published Nov. 15, 2016 2:12 p.m. ET

Roy Nelson landed another thunderous knockout on Saturday night when he defeated Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in the second round of their heavyweight matchup in Brazil, but the end of the fight didn't stir up nearly as much controversy as what happened next.

As soon as "Big" John McCarthy stopped the fight, Nelson threw his hands up in protest before walking back over and pushing the referee with a kick before turning to walk away.

It was clear that Nelson was upset at how long it took McCarthy to stop the fight because he believed Silva was taking undue punishment when he was already knocked out from the initial uppercut that put him on the mat.

"When I hit 'Bigfoot', I already knew I knocked him out with my first punch and then I got him one more time. In my head it was so slo-mo like I'm having a conversation with John going 'hey man, how's the weather over there?'. That's what it felt like. I'm friends with 'Bigfoot' and he has a family, I don't need to keep on punching him in his face," Nelson said at the post-fight press conference.


Nelson was frustrated by the perceived late stoppage and he wasted no time telling McCarthy about it with the push-kick while the referee was still standing over Silva on the ground.

"It was a push," Nelson said. "It was more like 'dude come on' and then we had a conversation in the cage and I was like 'dude, he was knocked out' and he said 'no, he wasn't.' I know what a knockout is, that's what I do for a living, I know what a knockout is."

The Brazilian Athletic Commission (CABMMA) could potentially penalize Nelson for putting his hands on an official if McCarthy decides to file a complaint.

At the very least, Nelson will probably be reprimanded by the UFC for touching a referee after the fight was over.

Nelson said he did apologize to McCarthy after the incident was over, although it doesn't sound like he actually regrets the decision to shove him considering how bad he felt after delivering what he believes were unnecessary shots to Silva on the ground.

"I didn't want to hurt 'Bigfoot' more than what I had to. I got taken by the moment," Nelson said. "Like a cop beating the (expletive) out of somebody and then you're like 'dude, enough's enough.'

"For me it hurt my feelings. I apologized to 'Big' John but I wouldn't take it back. It just hurt me that I've got to keep on hitting a guy that didn't need to be hit."


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