UFC fans were left irate after referee Kenny Hatley let fan favourite Bobby Green take multiple unanswered blows to the head after he was knocked out by Jalin Turner. Green was floored by a left hook in the opening minutes of the first round before going face down and appearing to go in and out of consciousness.
Despite Green being unable to properly defend himself, the referee failed to step in until more than a dozen more blows were landed to the 37-year-old American's head. All the while the UFC commentators were heard saying "That's it" and "It's over" repeatedly before the ref finally stopped the fight. The late stoppage was much to the disgust of UFC president Dana White who voiced his anger at what unfolded at UFC Austin.
Speaking post-fight White said Hatley recognised after the fact that he made a mistake. "It's one of the worst I've ever seen," White said. "He knows he made a mistake tonight and does not feel good about it, so it's unfortunate. It was definitely a bad stoppage."
Former UFC champions turned commentators, Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier, were up in arms about the stoppage. Bisping live in commentary labelled Hatley's failure to step in as "disgusting". "He was face down, he was getting teed off on by a world-class, very powerful striker. Kerry Hatley is a great referee, but what the hell was he waiting for?" Bisping said.
"Peoples' lives are at stake, their long-term health is at stake. That was utterly disgusting and disgraceful."
While Cormier took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to comment on the incident. "One of the absolute worst stoppages in MMA history," he wrote. "On your stomach taking punches and it still isn't enough. Crazy!" The MMA community was equally outraged with multiple tweets after the incident questioning if it was the worst stoppage in UFC history.
— OOC MMA (@oocmma) December 3, 2023
10.) Jalin Turner vs Bobby Green
Referee : Kerry Hatley pic.twitter.com/PKi64vnlHm
— 𝙍𝙪𝙚𝙗𝙚𝙣 𝘾𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙚𝙧 🥇 (@realruebenking) December 3, 2023
One of the absolute worst stoppages in mma history like wtf was going on. On your stomach taking punches and it still isn’t enough. Crazy !
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) December 3, 2023
Egregiously late stoppage in the Green-Turner fight. Referee Kerry Hatley let Green take entirely too much abuse.
— Luke Thomas🏋️♀️ (@lthomasnews) December 3, 2023
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) December 3, 2023
That ref needs to be held accountable. That extra damage could be life altering
— John Smith (@user353593) December 3, 2023
Jalin Turner says he was just doing his job
Post-fight Turner said he was surprised Hatley didn't call a stop to the fight sooner and admitted that landing so many unanswered shots to Green didn't feel good. "That part didn't feel good, you know what I mean," Turner said.
"We come from the same area, I want to help my brother come up. But that is how the business is, you have got to do what you got to do.
"I ain't going to talk down on the ref but I was like come on. Like how much more," Turner said. "Bobby was a little wobbled. I’ve got to go until they pull me off, that’s part of my job."
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