Roy Nelson was frustrated that Big John McCarthy didn’t stop his fight against Antonio Silva sooner, forcing the man known as “Big Country” to land four or five more heavy shots to the face of his fallen opponent after dropping him with an uppercut.
In the aftermath of the fight, Nelson circled around gave McCarthy a push with his foot as he checked on Silva. Although Nelson tried to explain himself after the fight, saying that he was just upset that he was forced to keep landing punches on his friend, even though he clearly felt like the fight was over.
“I apologized to ‘Big’ John, but I wouldn’t take it back. It just hurt me that I had to keep on hitting a guy that didn’t need to be hit,” said Nelson.
His explanation isn’t going to cut it though, as Brazil’s athletic commission (CABMMA) announced that they are looking into the incident. Cristiano Sampaio, a spokesman for the commission, said on Monday that Nelson’s case will brought before Brazil’s Superior Justice Court of Sport.
“Even though CABMMA understands Roy Nelson’s ‘frustration’ in that situation due to his close relationship with his opponent, that does not justify his act and can open a serious and dangerous precedent in the sport,” Sampaio wrote in an email to MMAjunkie. “We, as the regulation body of MMA in Brazil and member of the Association of Boxing Commissions, will not tolerate such conduct.
“All the licensed professionals involved have to act accordingly, respecting the rules, commission, promoter and fans, where unsportsmanlike behavior will be subject to fines and suspensions.”
UFC president Dana White had little sympathy for Nelson, saying that he deserves any punishment he might receive.
“You can’t apologize for that,” White said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “You don’t ever, ever put your f**king hands on a referee … or your feet, for any reason what so f**king ever. He needs to be buried. He went over there and put his foot on his ass to push him. Was flipping him off and yelling at him. You wanna flip a ref off … there’s never, ever a situation where you put your hands on a f**king referee. Ever. You can’t apologize for that.”
White clarified that the UFC itself will not punish Nelson, since it’s not their jurisdiction. They will, however, support and abide by any punishment handed down by CABMMA.
“We’ll see how the Brazilian athletic commission handles that, but he needs to be buried,” he continued. “If the athletic commission doesn’t rain on him, it’s not good. You don’t ever put your hands on a referee, I don’t care about the circumstances, you don’t do it.”
Nelson can probably expect to be made an example of, meaning he will face both fines and a suspension.