I think we can all agree that this was the worst stoppage in UFC history to date.
Commentator and 3rd degree black belt in BJJ, Kenny Florian, was in the middle of explaining that Drew Dober had successfully defended the guillotine – when suddenly! – just as Silva released the choke in order to reassert his grip on Dober, referee Eduardo Herdy stunningly called a halt to the bout, even though there was no tap, and Dober was still in full command of his faculties.
I might sense some foul play at work here with Herdy, but he bungled another fight earlier on the same card, allowing Jorge Oliveira to be nearly choked unconscious after ignoring multiple taps without taking action. Skip ahead to 4:30 of the video below for the finish.
This was just sheer incompetence on the part of the referee, and even ignorance of BJJ doesn’t excuse calls that any of us could have made with the untrained, naked eye. It’s definitely a tough job, but when people’s health and careers are on the line, we need the best possible officials in that cage as we can get.
On the plus side, Dana White stated that Drew Dober will be receiving his win bonus, and the loss will not be viewed negatively as far as the UFC is concerned. Expect this result to be challenged with hopes of the bout being ruled a no contest.