Roy Nelson rebounded from his split decision defeat to Derrick Lewis back in July with a TKO victory over Antonio Silva at UFC Fight Night 95 in Brasilia on Saturday.
A big right-hand from ‘Big Country’ dropped ‘Bigfoot’ towards the end of the second round and referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy intervened to give Nelson the, you guessed it, big win after a follow-up assault. Although the veteran official didn’t do so without prompting. In fact, Nelson actually stopped throwing shots at the downed Brazilian and called upon McCarthy to halt the slaughter.
The American fighter wasn’t too happy in the immediate aftermath of the fight and he prowled the octagon gesticulating. Then, as McCarthy knelt at Silva’s side, Nelson walked over and kicked the amiable ref, albeit without much force, in his…posterior.
— vicar adriano (@vadriano2000) September 25, 2016
Later in the night, at the post-fight press conference, the 40-year-old heavyweight explained his actions.
“When I hit ‘Bigfoot’, I already knew I knocked him out with my first punch and then I got him one more time,” Nelson said(via Fox Sports). “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.”
You can’t blame Nelson for wanting to protect Silva from unnecessary punishment, as the American Top Team representative has taken plenty in recent times. This was his third stoppage loss in a row and his sixth in eight fights. The 37-year-old has been stopped nine times over the course of his entire career, with seven of those coming in the first round.
Still, it was a mistake to lash out at one of the sport’s most well-liked and respected figures.
Nelson was not filled with regret however.
“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.”