There was a bit of a controversy during one preliminary fight at UFC 222 on Saturday night. Hector Lombard landed a one-two combination punch on C.B. Dollaway right after the bell sounded at the end of the first round.
Dollaway was visibly rocked and hurt by the punches and was unable to continue, which resulted in the fight being stopped. In the end, Lombard was given a disqualification verdict, a decision he deems unfair and hopes to get a rematch from.
“That is simply not what the rule is,” Sonnen said in a video he recently uploaded. “Absolutely not, and I need you guys at home to understand this because logically, you’re gonna think ‘well, no, you gotta stop on the bell.’ No, you do not.”
“That has not been in the rules since 1992, and I will tell you the history and the reasons why it is ‘protect yourself at all times.’”
Sonnen went on to explain that during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, boxing tournament matches were done simultaneously in three separate rings, and rounds were concluded via the sound of a whistle.
Sonnen says that during one match, a fighter heard the whistle blown at an opposing ring, but thought it marked the end of the round and began walking to his corner. At that point, his opponent capitalized on the opportunity and knocked him out.
“’You protect yourself at all times, the whistle does not stop you, I stop you.’ That is an exact quote from every referee who’s come in every locker room and talked to every fighter since,” Sonnen added. “We are told explicitly.”
Instead, Sonnen believes that the fight should have ended in a no contest, mainly because disqualification verdicts give fighters a harder time to renew their license, particularly in the state of Nevada.
“If you are disqualified in the state of Nevada before you can get another license, you must come in and have a commission hearing,” Sonnen said. “There’s going to be a sanctioning against you due to that disqualification.”
“There should not be a hearing or any kind of sanctioning against Hector Lombard,” he continued. “He followed the rules as the rules are, and as the rules are explicitly explained to us as athletes.”
After UFC 222, Lombard is now on a five-fight losing streak, and holds a record of 34-9-1, with two no contests and 26 wins by stoppage.