Dana White: Jalin Turner vs. Bobby Green referee stoppage ‘one of the worst I’ve ever seen’

Dana White was blunt when asked about the controversial referee stoppage by Kerry Hatley in UFC Austin’s co-main event.

“One of the worst I’ve ever seen,” White said at UFC Austin’s post-fight press conference.

Hatley came under immense fire on Saturday for what many perceived to be a late stoppage for Jalin Turner’s first-round knockout victory over Bobby Green. Turner dropped Green with a right hand in the opening minutes of the bout, then towered over his fallen foe and unloaded undefended blows for more than 10 seconds before Hatley intervened.

Many fighters expressed outrage at Hatley’s decision-making during the finishing sequence. Among the chorus was UFC cageside commentator Daniel Cormier, who called it “one of the absolute worst stoppages in MMA history,” and UFC featherweight Sodiq Yusuff, who called for Hatley’s firing on social media and wrote, “That insane man. I’ve never been actually mad at a ref before. Someone could die of s*** like that.”

White has never been shy to criticize a commission official, and while he acknowledged Hatley’s mistake, he also held back because of contrition he cited on Hatley’s part.

“The difference is we’ve had some refs say some dumb s*** in the past like, ‘Oh, I allowed her to be a warrior tonight,’ and goofy s*** like that,” White explained. “He knows that he made a mistake tonight and he does not feel good about it. So it’s unfortunate.

“Definitely a bad stoppage. Very bad.”

Turner also declined to criticize Hatley too harshly.

The 28-year-old UFC lightweight admitted that he was baffled by Hatley’s indecision in the finishing sequence, but expressed relief that Green appeared to be lucid and in relatively good health after the knockout.

“I don’t know, bro. I don’t know what to call it,” Turner said post-fight. “He just waited until Bobby was out. Like, Bobby’s tough. Bobby’s a really tough fighter, so when I was punching, he was defending, he was moving, he was still a bit coherent and I was like, dang.

“I was like, maybe this should be stopped, maybe not, and I’m not going to stop until you pull me off because it’s him or me, and he would’ve gotten his bearings about him, he could’ve gotten back on top or something crazy. So it is what it is. He was healthy, he was coherent, he was good after, we had good words, so I’m happy he was in good health, decent health. So it is what it is.”

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