To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now

MMA Referee Dubbed 'The Worst In History' For Not Stopping Brutal Beatdown At UFC 267

Max Sherry


MMA Referee Dubbed 'The Worst In History' For Not Stopping Brutal Beatdown At UFC 267

One mixed martial arts referee has found himself in the firing line after failing to stop a bout when one of the fighters was clearly absorbing too much damage.

Vyacheslav Kiselev was subsequently axed for the remained of the UFC 267 card when he chose not to step in when Benoit Saint-Denis looked out on his feet against Elizeu dos Santos at UFC 267.

Dos Santos ended up winning the fight in Abu Dhabi by unanimous decision, but if truth be told, it should have ended long before that.

Now some of the biggest names in the sport have waded in, urging the UFC to take action - which they have.


During their brutal war, dos Santos recorded 149 significant strikes to Saint-Denis' 67 - 96 of which were blows to the head.

But to Saint-Denis' credit, he showed incredible toughness and durability as he refused to hit the deck and give up despite looking very wobbly.

But at the end of the day, sometimes the fighter needs to be saved from themselves - and that job lies with the referee.


Instead of halting the fight in its tracks and stopping Saint-Denis from taking more unnecessary damage.

With his hands down and copping blow after blow, it was clear that the fight was over, so much so that the commentators themselves were yelling out for the referee to intervene.

"Stop the fight," commentators Daniel Cormier, Jon Anik and Paul Felder shouted ringside.

"I don't know what he needs to see... this is crazy," Cormier added.


But their cries fell on deaf ears as fight continued and Saint-Denis absorbed far more damage than what he should have.

After do Santos had his hand raised, it was then revealed that the UFC had decided to axe Kiselev from the remained of the card.


At the time, us fans watching from home couldn't quite believe that the fight wasn't stopped earlier.

But for those witnessing it live in the flesh, they realised just how severe the incident was.

In the aftermath of an otherwise flawless event, Cormier tweeted: "Honestly the worst performance I have seen from a referee in my life. Honestly a hard job but man unreal. Makes you respect the good ones like @JasonHerzogMMA @JohnMcCarthyMMA @HerbDeanMMA and many more. I hated watching that I hope Benoit is heading to hospital right now!"

While respected MMA reporters Brett Okamoto added: "Wow. So, Elizeu Zaleski is one of the toughest humans imaginable. And that fight should have 10000 percent been stopped in the second round. Doesn't matter Zaleski managed to go the distance. With what that ref was looking at, you stop that fight every time."

As for do Santos himself, even he admitted that he "felt sorry" for his helpless opponent.

"It was pretty clear that the referee should have stopped it," the Brazilian said.

"He ended up making the fight a lot tougher than it should have been.

"I feel sorry for the guy because he ended up getting injured way more than he should have - and for myself as well, because when you're beating someone up, you're getting hurt yourself as well.

"We didn't know that he had been removed but we did talk about it with the doctors and medical staff - that he didn't do his job, he was putting people in danger."

Whether you're a mixed martial arts purist or just a casual fan, everyone surely knows that the health, wellbeing and safety of the athlete far outweighs any form of entertainment.

Saint-Denis sure is tough, but let's just hope he's alright.

Featured Image Credit: UFC

Topics: Daniel Cormier, referee, UFC, Australia, MMA

Max Sherry
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You


Highlights of Ryan Gravenberch’s first start for Liverpool have gone viral, he’s the perfect fit

4 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Bayern Munich awarded controversial penalty against Man United, fans genuinely can't believe it

a day ago