Carwin gave Rosenthal every excuse to stop the fight after he dropped Lesnar with a series of sledgehammers standing and continued the assault on the canvas. The previously undefeated knockout artist had Lesnar in enough trouble to warrant a stoppage in many cases, but this was a championship bout of the highest caliber, and Brock Lesnar is no ordinary man.
Making the ultimate call to allow Lesnar some breathing room during the beating, Rosenthal rightfully allowed Lesnar to continue in the contest, and ultimately come back to stop Carwin via arm-triangle choke in the second round.
UFC President Dana White sung Rosenthal’s praise following the event, and undisputed heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar was right there with him.
“I really have to thank the referee for allowing that thing to go on,” said Lesnar shortly following his stunning come from behind victory over Carwin.
And while Lesnar was openly grateful for Rosenthal’s choice to let the fight go when many may have not, he insisted that he “wasn’t hurt” significantly at any point during the bout.
Whether Lesnar was hurt or not, it sure looked like he was, and Brock would be the first to admit that he had his hands full coming into the second round.
“He was strong on top. He out-boxed me, and he got me, and I’d be the first person to tell everyone that,” said Lesnar. “He’s a beast. He definitely won the first round.
“I knew that I lost the first round but there are still four rounds left. I knew I was in a fight for sure.”