UFC Fight Night 62’s Unfortunate Biggest Star: Eduardo Herdy

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Silva vs DoberDemian Maia, Erick Silva, Leo Santos, Godofredo Pepey, Kevin Souza, Christos Giagos, etc… A number of fighters had a great night this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 62 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but it was a referee who stole the show. Colorado’s Drew Dober and the Brazilian Leandro Silva took center stage on the evening’s televised preliminary card. This lightweight bout resulted in the most inexcusable referee stoppage I have ever seen in the UFC. I have seen similar shady things in overseas regional shows, but never anything this egregious inside the Octagon – and that’s saying a lot, considering all the bad referee stoppages that have taken place. This one, however, just completely takes the cake. Let’s backtrack a little. The fighters touched gloves, and Dober went on to outstrike Silva on the feet to win the first round. In the second frame, the tables seemed to turn when the fight hit the mat and the Brazilian took Dober’s back and attempted a rear naked choke. Dober, however, successfully defended and survived. When working a reversal and getting top position on Silva, the Brazilian locked up a guillotine choke. Dober, on top in half-guard stayed calm and successfully defended the choke by relieving the pressure. To anybody watching the fight, it appeared clear-as-day that Dober was slowly but surely working his head out from under Silva’s arm. Clear-as-day to anybody except Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Eduardo Herdy, who happened to have the best view in the house as the referee assigned to work the 155-pound contest. There is no explanation to how a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu white belt (no less, a black belt like Herdy!) would be watching the action, especially from that close, and for a second think that Dober was in trouble. There is no explanation other than complete and utter incompetence. Well, there is one other explanation, but we’ll get to that here shortly. Dober never appeared to be in any trouble. Even UFC commentator Kenny Florian was commenting on how well he was countering the choke. Immediately AFTER Dober popped his head out, Herdy stopped the fight. He saw Dober’s head popping out and went for it. What Herdy has to gain from a Silva victory is a question mark. It is my personal opinion he intentionally made a dirty move by stopping the fight, and not just because I think it’s obvious when watching, but also because he looked nervous and went on to tell lies/change his story afterwards. First, Herdy said he thought Dober tapped, when it was clear to anybody watching that there was not a single tap. Dober also stated that in the locker room before the fight, Herdy told him he must tap three times in such a situation. Herdy, realizing it is obvious to anybody watching that Dober did not tap, changed his story and said he thought Dober was unconscious. Little does he know, that is an even worse lie, because he could clearly see Dober moving in the position. Finally, the big tell: He was nervous! If Herdy thought Dober tapped or was unconscious and wanted to stop the fight, he would have just stopped the fight. However, what he did was awkwardly break the action (just as Dober popped his head out), then in his nervousness, asked Dober if he tapped. (He knew he was doing something dirty, otherwise there is not a chance he would have asked. It was pure nervousness from being aware of his wrongful doing; anybody who is even remotely capable of reading body language will confirm this.) Dober, confused, answered no, and Herdy proceeded to ask Silva, who told Herdy that Dober did indeed tap. (Note: This is where Silva looks like he just hit the jackpot.) Herdy, still displaying nervousness, waved his arms and stopped the fight, even with a completely conscious and aware fighter in front of him. If he stopped the fight because he thought Dober was unconscious, then saw that he was wrong and Dober was fully conscious, why not allow the fighters to continue the action? It’s rare, but it’s happened before where a ref almost stops a fight and then immediately realizes his mistake and backs off, allowing it to continue. The answer to that is, in my opinion, Eduardo Herdy wanted Leandro Silva to win that fight. I don’t believe there is any other explanation. It may be controversial to say this, but I think this man is corrupt and should never referee another fight again, even on the Brazilian regional circuit. It is better to speak up about this and shine a light on this guy, rather than going with the ol’ “well, that’s MMA for ya” approach. There are a lot of red flags with this picture and we shouldn’t look past them. For the good of the UFC and mixed martial arts in general, I truly hope this is not something we forget about as the next card rolls along. This is something that needs to be addressed and brought up constantly until Eduardo Herdy is no longer in a position to decide the future of professional athletes who dedicate their lives to this great sport – with their blood, sweat and tears. My favorite sport, and yours. The fact that the Brazilian commission is likely to let this decision stand makes this all even worse. The other thing to take away from this is would be the fact that Leandro Silva blatantly lied and cheated. He said he felt Dober’s body go limp, and he felt Dober tap. I suppose he could not decide which lie to go with, so he contradicted himself by going with both. Obviously a fighter cannot tap if his body has gone limp in a state of unconsciousness; it has to be one or the other. (A fighter can tap and then go unconscious, but that’s now what Silva claimed). What unfolded at UFC Fight Night 62 revealed that Silva is not an honorable fighter, nor man. I have no respect for him as a competitor in this sport or as a person, and I very much look forward to the day he receives a pink slip from the promotion. Hopefully it will come following an undeserved big step up in competition in his next outing. One loss should be enough to cut this cheater loose. I was not going to write about any of this because of the fact that I personally wagered on Dober and to some, could come across as me being a sore loser. Knowing that is a possibility, I decided that it’s still important enough that I do follow through with writing about it anyway, because again, I believe this is something that needs to be seriously addressed. I was upset I lost money on Dober, but that really plays no part in how I feel about this gut-sickening situation. Heck, Dober wasn’t even my biggest loss of the night, and this certainly was not the first time I’ve been royally screwed by a referee. However, this is the first time where even in my wildest of imaginations I am unable to justify a stoppage. Usually, even in the worse of situations, you can talk yourself into chalking it up to the referee making a dumb mistake. In this case, that is impossible to do, as all the evidence leaves us with a red-handed Eduardo Hardy, a man who undoubtedly knew what he was doing, and furthermore, went on to poorly lie about his actions. This reminds me of my Answer to Questionable Referee Stoppage article from last month. What I proposed in the article would have been the perfect solution to last night’s “error” by Eduardo Herdy. Eduardo Herdy. The biggest name to come out of UFC Fight Night 62, and fight fans do NOT look forward to this Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt’s next Octagon outing.

Written by Gabe Killian

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