‘The Worst Job to Judge at a UFC Event Ever:’ The Pros Respond to Shocking Referee Neglect at UFC 267

Elizeu Zaleski and Benoit Saint-Denis went to war at UFC 267, but it was the passivity of the referee who watched their fight that got everyone talking.

Referee Vyacheslav Kiselev was paralyzed on social media after allowing Saint-Denis to take a disproportionate amount of punishment in his initial welterweight match against Zaleski on Saturday. Zaleski landed several unanswered shots in the second round, and although Saint-Denis displayed extraordinary toughness, commentators Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier and Paul Felder were all heard in the broadcast shouting that the match should be stopped.

On Twitter, fighters, officials and fans all questioned Kiselev’s competence, including veteran judge John McCarthy, who called it “the worst job to judge at a UFC event ever.” Kiselev also came under fire for an incident later in the match when Saint-Denis appeared to be complaining that he could not look after getting an eye contact and the referee did not call for the ring side doctor to examine him.

Before the next match, it was announced in the broadcast that Kiselev would be relieved of his duties for the rest of the night. He was to judge one more match.

See how the professionals reacted to the controversial match below:

See more footage of the match here:

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