Referee Kyle Cardinal came in for serious criticism for his handling of the featherweight fight between Rick Glenn and Gavin Tucker at UFC 215 on Saturday night in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Among his most vociferous detractors was none other than UFC president Dana White, who rarely holds his tongue when it comes to what he deems to be bad officiating. Taking to Twitter at the end of the fight, White suggested that Cardinal deserved to get his “ass whooped” for allowing Tucker to hear the final horn.
Look at that poor kids face!!! The ref needs his ass whooped!!!!
— Dana White (@danawhite) September 10, 2017
Tucker was dropped by a hard Glenn left hand towards the end of the opening round, but he bounced back up. In the second, he was hit with a head kick, but that only seemed to make the ‘Guv’Nor’ mad and spur him on. As the stanza progressed, however, Tucker began to tire and the relentless Glenn started to dispense a beating to the tough Canadian.
In the third, things really got ugly. Tucker, his face badly swollen and bloodied, took punishing standing elbows and knees for the opening minute of the session before getting dragged to the ground. There, he was pasted with a steady stream of sickening strikes. Tucker never stopped moving or trying to improve his position, but he just kept getting tagged over and over. With about twenty seconds remaining, the 31-year-old somehow made it to his feet, but he stumbled across the cage and into the fence after taking another knee from Glenn. Yet another knee followed and a front kick to the face before the aforementioned horn mercifully sounded.
Indeed, as White said, Tucker’s face was a mess as the scores were read out – 30-24, 30-25, and a slightly bizarre 29-27, all, obviously, to Glenn – but in an unfathomably badass statement posted to Facebook today, the fighter himself disagreed with the UFC president’s assessment of Cardinal’s performance.
“In victory say little. In defeat ….less,” began Tucker. “I’ll keep it short and sweet. I lost on Saturday. Stop blaming the ref for a bad call. That man let me go out on my shield. He visited while I was in the hospital and apologized. Was him and I in that cage. I didn’t stop fighting. He saw that. He should sleep easy.
“I have four broken bones in my face. The first which started on the jaw in rd 1 and the fight went down for me from there. I have 2 fractured orbital and another vertical fracture in the jaw according to the x ray/CT scan. The heartbreak of losing hurts much worse. Throughout the day I wiped a lot of blood off my cheek and I can’t say for sure there weren’t some tears in there. I fought [with] blurred vision and 3 different Rick Glenns kicked the fuck out of me for the last two rds. (I tried to hit the one in the middle) congrats to my opponent. I hope you go far because I plan on seeing you again.”
“I fought my heart out. I’m a rare breed of straight savage and I don’t need social media to tell me that. However…I am appreciative of all the support I received on here. Which is why I’m writing this. I have no excuses and won’t stand for anyone making them for me. That’s not how the north folk get it done.
“I have a great Family. a great team. and the greatest women. I’ll be twice the man for this.
thats it….. Tucker 2.0 is on the way.”
(Continue reading below.)
As gallant and downright awesome as that statement was in many ways, the horrifying array of injuries listed therein only serve to justify the criticism of Cardinal.