When Tanner Boser knocked out Raphael Pessoa in the second round at UFC on ESPN 14, it was weird.
Boser crumpled his opponent with a solid left hook to the orbital and proceeded to land 10 unimpeded follow-up shots while Pessoa was on the floor in the fetal position. Commentators Paul Felder and Dan Hardy became less excited and more concerned with each extraneous punch, shouting “Boser’s going to get the finish!” one moment and “It’s over, ref!” the next. A brief silence emanated from both men once referee Herb Dean finally intervened. In retrospect, it sounded a lot like two fighters biting their tongues.
They would extend no such courtesy when Francisco Trinaldo knocked out Jai Herbert four fights later. Less than two minutes into the third round, Trinaldo sent Herbert to the mat with a huge overhand. The fight appeared to be over right then and there, and Dean looked as if he was about to intervene. Trinaldo hesitated, but when he realized the fight was not getting stopped, he whipped a few extra shots directly to Herbert’s head before the fight was stopped. Hardy immediately erupted at the veteran official…Like