John McCarthy responds to Tim Kennedy’s claim his UFC 178 loss to Yoel Romero was a ‘robbery’ that ended his career

Tim Kennedy reflected on the anniversary of his fight vs. Yoel Romero at UFC 178 – a fight he claims ended his career.

Kennedy lost to Romero in their middleweight bout in 2014 by third-round TKO just 58 seconds into the frame, but it didn’t come without controversy. Their barnburner earned Fight of the Night honors.

At the end of Round 2, a visibly tired Romero appeared to receive extra time on his stool before the start of Round 3, where the cutman applied an excess amount of vaseline to the cut over his left eyebrow. That prompted referee John McCarthy to call a cornerman back in to remove the big glob of vaseline. Kennedy was irate at the delay, but Romero and his corner were not reprimanded for it.

Thursday marked the nine-year anniversary of that fight, and Kennedy took aim at McCarthy, accusing him of mismanaging the situation.

“Robbery anniversary and the end of my fight career. Dear Nevada Athletic Commission. NAC 467.728 If a combatant fails or refuses to resume competing when the bell sounds…the referee shall award a decision of TKO.”

McCarthy responded, explaining what went down in between rounds.

“Tim you are an amazing person and I truly wish the very best life has to offer both you and your family. Perhaps I could of done something differently during your fight. I wish I had the forethought to envision this exact situation before it ever occurred and that way I may have handled it differently. But you are not stating facts about what occurred. Yoel was told to stay seated by the NSAC Inspector. The truth is the Cutman hired and paid for by the UFC did not re-enter the cage when summoned to do so and that is what held up the start of the 3rd round. It is not Yoel’s fault that this occurred and the Cutman is not part of Yoel’s official corner. Language barriers did not help as well. It’s egregious to penalize a person when they are not at fault and that is why there were no point deductions nor DQ. Was it completely fair to you? No I don’t believe it was, but there are times when there is no perfect solution in the moment. I hope the very best for you in all that you do.”

The loss to Romero snapped Kennedy’s four-fight winning streak. Kennedy lost to Kelvin Gastelum by TKO more than two years later and retired after the fight. He is at peace with that marking the near end of his career, but not how the Romero fight went down.

“I’m super happy I’m done fighting and this fight brought in the end. So thank you for that. You failed to mange control of what was happening in the cage. The entire Yoel team played you like a fiddle and got what they wanted… more time to recover.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie