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Brock Lesnar: I really have to thank the referee for allowing that thing to go on

Longtime referee Josh Rosenthal has been given praise from fans and critics alike for the way he handled the main event between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin during UFC 116 last evening in Las Vegas.

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.”

  • Dr. Sardonicus says:

    Carwin gassed out and Lesnar came back and won….The fortunate validation of Rosenthal’s decision to let the fight continue. If the fight had turned out otherwise, many would have said it should have been stopped earlier.

  • Convict617 says:

    Brock Lesnar is thanking God that Dan Miragliotta wasn’t the ref for the fight. Rosenthall made the right call, but it was pretty dicey in there.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    why didnt he use his fucking elbows? that woulda made the ref stop it just because it would have looked more nasty.

  • Dufresne says:

    I have to say it was a good call by the ref. If Brock had completely turtled up or stopped attempting to defend himself it should have been call, and honestly I think Carwin was about only about 1 or 2 flush shots away from pulling that off. But since Brock kept moving and trying to grab onto Carwin’s leg the ref made a good judgment decision in letting it go.

    Someone said it in another thread already, if Carwin had let Brock up in the first round and kept it standing instead of punching himself out going for the finish, he might have fared better. He was clearly the better fighter on the feet, but after he wore his arms out by punching Brock on the shoulder and wrist he couldn’t defend the takedown and didn’t have the finishing power anymore.

  • Jason.Renshaw says:

    I just watched the fight for the second time. Every time that the ref warned Brock about fighting back Brock immediately took a swing at Carwin or tried to change the position. My opinion has always been high of Josh Rosenthal in comparison to some of the other refs in the UFC and other promotions.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    i swear it was over. good job on Brock and Josh

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Watching the fight again, Josh made the right call. everytime Carwin landed a big shot, he couldnt follow it up with any more and Brock did a great job covering up and even attacking from the bottom to show Josh he was defending the onslaught. That sneaky Lesnar, its interesting to see him setting up the choke once you know its coming. taking a beating and winning by a Sub, what could possibly earn him more MMA respect? Good show of Heart and Determination, Bravo

  • Niv says:

    I think he’s right to thank the ref for not stopping the fight because there were moments where he looked like he could have justified why he stopped it(if he decided to do so).

    However I do think it was a good non-stoppage and I have to give credit to Brock for submitting Carwin.

    Carwin had the fight in the bag and I’m sure he didn’t sleep last night, all he really needed to do was let off a little and stand up and he would have surely hurt Brock again while giving himself a chance to recover from the energy he exerted.

    Brock’s standup and defense once he got caught was horrible but he survived it and that’s all that counts. It was a very exciting fight and Brock showed some real heart coming back the way he did.

    I really don’t see Brock having any issues with Velasquez, I think he’ll power right through him, I think Brock’s next big challenge will be JDS.

    It’s going to be a guy with stamina, a decent ground game and hard pin point punching power that will take Brock out. Carwin definitely has some of those attributes but not all of them and it showed last night.

    Either way as an unabashed Fedor nuthugger I came to admire Brock last night, both his attitude after the fight and his desire to win and stay the course at least make me believe he is a deserving UFC Champion.(Not number 1 in my books yet, though may change soon)

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Oh and I forgot Brock had brought an attorney to the NSAC referee selection conference and contested any chance of Steve Mazzagatti’s participation in the fight. Good call on Brock’s part because who knows what that rube would have done?

  • that was like watching Ely Manning almost get take’n down in the 2007 superbowl and the ref not blowing the whistle to end up giving the giants a victory. Brock played it well and Carwin should have just kept the fight on its feet. Good eye eye by Josh Rosenthal but wow did it look like Brock had given up there for a long long second. I was pulling my hear out yelling “call it ref.. hes done, he F’n done..Brock has lost.. call it Ref!” and it just wouldn’t happen. Shane looked tired but wow. Hats off to the New and improved Classy Brock.

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    I thought several times one or two more of those big shots from Carwin land flush and this might end. He did hit him with some big shots after the initial attack Brock was trying to move and duck and had his head tucked inside his arms and the shots became less frequent and more deliberate but, we not landing flush.

    Brock started moving around for space and holding Carwin’s arm and wrist to try to prevent more damage. The ref yelled at Brock to show him something and Brock would move for position or grab an arm or block a shot to let ref know he wasn’t out and was looking to improve his position. On the ground getting hit from above not much more can be asked expect “intelligently defend yourself” and Brock was doing everything possible to show he was. Excellent job by ref to see effort to defend was being made.

    I also have to give props to Carwin for giving it everything he had. I think that would have put most fighters out cold. Unfortunately for him Brock isn’t most fighters.

  • gy614x says:

    Anyone who thinks JDS will be a challenge for Brock is out of their mind. Brock would dump him and finish him, as he did to Mir. a Non wrestler is going to be in a shitload of trouble against him.

    Cain has the wrestling, and is actually getting bigger in every fight. i believe he was 247 in his last outing where he blasted big Nog.

    Cain will offer world of trouble for Brock IF he can stop the shot. He’ll be too much on the feet, and he can do what Carwin was doing to Brock ALL FIGHT LONG.

    im pumped for that one……

  • gy614x says:


    “The game plan last night was to be patient and let the fight come to you,” Carwin wrote Sunday on his blog at “When I had him in trouble, the ref (kept) saying he was going to stop it and then towards the end of the (first round), my body began to seize up. In between rounds I could not move my legs and had what felt like a whole body cramp. My cardio was fine, but my body was not. What can you do? You have to stand up and face your opponent.”

    The second round was a much different story. Lesnar scored a takedown early, moved to mount briefly and then jumped to the side to submit Carwin with an arm-triangle choke at 2:19.

    “Heading into the second, I knew I (needed) to finish the fight or I was going to be in trouble,” Carwin wrote. “Much like the champion he is, I am sure Brock was thinking the same thing. I had zero takedown defense, as my legs were dead to me and the rest is, as they say, history.”

    keep in mind Dana White confirmed in the post fight that Carwin was taken to the hospital after the fight was over….very interested to see what this what all about……

  • BillyWarhol says:

    LOLLLLLLLL Brock says “he (Shane) Won the 1st Rd” no shit Sherlock Einsteen!!! U are thee Luckiest Champ on da Planet that the Ref didn’t Stop it!! No doubt a truly Amazing Fight + Full Props to both Fighters + the entire Fight Card

  • mu_shin says:

    Carwin’s description of how he felt going into round 2 sounds a lot like lactic acid buildup from the exertion of round one, which may have been exacerbated if Shane was in any way dehydrated. I don’t think we know how much he had to cut to make 265, but we do know that all fighters run the risk of dehydration when they come in to a weigh-in a few pounds over the mark. Don’t know if that was the case for Carwin, but I’ve had the seizing up feeling in the weight room many times after big sets of squats, so maybe that was what happened that night…

  • LiverPunch says:

    Yeah I think Dos Santos may struggle. I do think a slick BJJ artist has a chance with Brock. That is if his stand up is as good or better than Brocks too.
    I have to say that I wouldn’t have stopped it. Brock was defending the whole time and even striking back every so often. He did turtle up a couple of times but was able to move or defend well.

    P.S. 5 oz UPDATE THE RANKINGS!!!!!!!. It should read, in my…um… humble opinion. Lesnar, Fedor, Werdum, Valasquez, Mir, Dos Santos, Carwin, Nog, Overeem, Big Foot.

  • stone says:

    I think if Cain can stuff/sprawl Brocks first two shots, he’s gonna whoop Brock’s ass! Cain’s boxing is lookin sick right now! He almost looks like a big BJ Penn. On the other hand… If Brock takes Cain down fairly easy, I don’t know if Cain can buck that big bastard off and run the risk of Ref.Stoppage… Hopefully Rosenthal will Ref that fight as well… DW should’ve given Lytle the SotN bonus… Lytle’s sub was better and I’m sure he could use the dough! Jussayin!

  • Niv says:

    gy614x sorry but I really do think JDS is the guy with the best chance to beat Brock in the UFC. He has a purple belt in BJJ, trained by world class Big Nog and he has world class stand up.

    He’s roughly the same size as Velasquez and I think his stand up is what will do it. I bet his striking though maybe not as heavy as Carwin’s is probably very close, but his hands are much better and more accurate and I have no reason to believe he would gas quickly.

    Velasquez in my opinion would get demolished by both Brock and JDS, if Velasquez was an inch away from going out with Kongo he’ll get lit up by JDS without a doubt.

    I just am not sold on Velasquez as being anything more than a very good wrestler, ko’ing Big Nog is not as big a feat as it would have been 5 years ago. It’s like having a ko win over Wandy or Lidell today, big deal if it was years ago, now it’s almost expected.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Josh Rosenthal said he told them backstage that they would get 3 opportunites to intellegently defend themselves before a stoppage…

  • Angry Mike says:

    I wonder if Carwin’s gas out was due to an adrenaline dump. Goldberg kept saying how calm he looked, but to me he had a 1,000 yard stare that suggested he was pretty keyed up. Having some nerves before a title shot is completely understandable.


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