Shortly after Charlie Ward defeated Portugal’s Joao Carvalho by 3rd round TKO at The National Stadium in Dublin on Saturday night, Conor McGregor told MMA Connect TV that he felt the referee should have called a halt to the action sooner than he did.
“My teammate Charlie had a good win just there – hell of a fight. Yer man took some big shots(sic). Thought it could have been stopped a little earlier. I feel these referee’s need to be on the ball a little bit,” said McGregor, who was cageside for the Total Extreme Fighting event.
It later emerged that the Team Nobrega welterweight had fallen ill following the bout and that his condition deteriorated thereafter.
The show’s promoters released a statement confirming that the fighter was in a “very serious condition” on Sunday, but the Irish Daily Star have today reported that Carvalho underwent emergency surgery and is in a “critical” state at Beaumont hospital.
In their aforementioned statement, TEF asserted that they had taken every precaution to ensure fighter safety at their maiden event.
“In the run up to the event we also consulted with medical practitioners, neurosurgeons and combat sport experts. We had also three doctors and paramedic staff present on the night.”
“Their presence and adhering to best practices ensured that the seriousness of Joao’s condition was recognized and swift action taken and we are thankful for their help”.
McGregor seemed to corroborate this statement in his interview, speaking about how encouraging it was to see that Irish MMA had progressed in this regard.
“To see the way it’s all progressed, the regulations and everything – all the medical staff and everything. It’s proper now,” said McGregor. “To see this is great”.