Referee Steve Mazzagatti may or may not have intervened too quickly on Jake Ellenberger’s behalf Friday at “The Ultimate Fighter 15” Finale, but regardless Martin Kampmann doesn’t feel it affected the outcome of the fight.
“At first I thought maybe it was a little bit early,” Kampmann told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “Because I don’t like early stoppages at all. I like letting them go as much as possible. I thought it looked a little early, but when I saw the replay, it didn’t look like [Ellenberger] was doing much defense. He was just kind of curling up on his side. I don’t think it would have been much different if [Mazzagatti] gave him a couple of extra seconds. I had plenty of elbows left.”
The finish came 1:40 into the second round. Kampmann had hurt Ellenberger with a right hand and dropped him with a knee from the clinch. However, in the first round, it was Kampmann who found himself on his back after eating a left hook.
“I would have been pissed if [Mazzagatti] had tried to stop the fight on my first knockdown,” Kampmann said. “That was just a flash knockdown. I was still going. I was still moving as soon as I landed on my ass. I wasn’t out. I think he did a good job letting it go there.”
If it were up to Kampmann, Mazzagatti would have given Ellenberger a little bit longer to recover too. That doesn’t mean he necessarily disagrees with the stoppage, though. He just doesn’t want it to take away from what proved to be a dramatic comeback win.
“It sucks for me to hear people complain about it because I feel I was in the best position possible,” Kampmann said. “I would have happily let the fight go on for a little bit longer because [Ellenberger] was just turned up on his side and he wasn’t really doing any defense at all. I don’t like when people try to take away from my victory.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:30:36).