Johnny Bedford reacts to the referee's stoppage. | Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Johnny Bedford felt he was robbed again.
Just months removed from a much-talked-about no contest against Rani Yahya at UFC Fight Night “Minotauro vs. Nelson” that stemmed from an accidental clash of heads, Bedford again had to answer questions regarding a controversial ending on Saturday night.
After scoring with punches that rocked the body of Cody Gibson at UFC Fight Night “Swanson vs. Stephens” in San Antonio, Texas, Bedford was caught with a right hand that knocked him backwards to the canvas. Referee Kerry Hatley, in seemingly good position to witness the fall, hesitantly stepped in to wave an end to the contest at the 38-second mark of round one.
“I was winning the fight. I got caught with a shot, obviously, but this isn’t boxing. This is MMA. This is the upper echelon of MMA,” said a disappointed Bedford in a Fox Sports 1 interview with Heidi Androl. “This is the UFC, and you expect better referees than that. I’m allowed to grapple. Someone falling into your guard does not make it a TKO.”
Bedford, now 19-11 with 1 NC, did not mince words when asked about Hatley’s stoppage.
“He looked dumbfounded in the cage, like he knew he made a mistake,” declared Bedford, “and that’s what really upsets me. There’s a lot of money on the line. ... I’ve got two kids at home to feed.”
A product of Fitness Fight Factory who represents Forth Worth, Texas, Bedford has not tasted victory since disposing of Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini with second-round punches in December of 2012.