On a night with no shortage of wicked submissions, come-from-behind wins and divisional implications, Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN 7 event was marred by two conspicuous and consecutive miscarriages of justice on the event’s main card.
The first occurred in the Stefan Struve-Ben Rothwell heavyweight affair, where the “Skyscraper” absorbed two devastating low blows over the course of two rounds, which twice had the dutchman writhing on the canvas in agony. Struve, who walked into the Octagon carrying a 1-3 record in his last four fights just a few months removed from a short-lived retirement, looked to have serious reservations about whether he would be able to continue after copping the second errant kick. After exchanging some words with referee Dan Miragliotta — during which the official appeared to encourage Struve to continue as he was “winning the fight” and Rothwell would lose a point — he opted to continue; 73 seconds later he was stopped by strikes.
The second instance happened in the co-main event, where Marina Rodriguez and Cynthia Calvillo fought to a majority draw. The bout was held at a catchweight of 120.5 pounds after Calvillo blew the strawweight limit by half a weight class, with the Californian being outpointed on the feet in rounds one and two only to score a 10-8 round in the final stanza courtesy of chain wrestling, submissions attempts and some scary ground-and-pound.
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