The UFC event held on June 17 at the UFC Apex Facility in Paradise, Nevada, left spectators puzzled and sparked controversy due to a questionable conclusion to the Carlos Hernandez vs. Denys Bondar bout.
In the flyweight bout during the prelims of UFC on ESPN: Vettori vs. Cannonier, Hernandez and Bondar engaged in a fierce battle. Hernandez dominated the action for the majority of the rounds, seemingly on his way to securing a unanimous decision victory over his opponent.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 18, 2023
However, in the closing moments of the bout, Hernandez executed a takedown on Bondar and unleashed a series of brutal elbow strikes, rendering Bondar unconscious. It appeared that Hernandez had achieved a knockout win in impressive fashion.
The knockout in Vegas was nothing short of terrifying.
O nocaute brutal anulado do americano Carlos Hernandez sobre Denys Bondar, agora há pouco, no UFC. Por conta da cabeçada não intencional que causou a inconsciência do oponente, a luta foi à decisão técnica, onde Hernandez venceu por 29-28 e duplo 30-27. pic.twitter.com/cvUAVL2IU5
— MMA Melotto (@MMAmelotto) June 18, 2023
Many spectators argued that the bout should have been stopped earlier, as Bondar endured unnecessary damage during the encounter.
Yet, the controversy didn’t end there. Despite Hernandez’s devastating finishing sequence, the bout proceeded to the judges’ scorecards. Upon review, it was determined that a clash of heads occurred during the takedown, which led to the knockout and rendered the victory invalid.
Fortunately, Carlos Hernandez was awarded the victory via technical decision, with all three judges scoring the contest 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28 in favor of the 29-year-old.
The incident drew criticism from numerous MMA fans, who took to social media to express their discontent with the referee and the officials involved in the bout.
One individual humorously questioned whether the referee held a personal grudge against Bondar, suggesting that there might have been some ulterior motive behind the controversial decision.
“Did that guy owe the ref money?”
Another user voiced disappointment in the officials’ oversight during the bout.
Despite the controversy surrounding the bout, Carlos Hernandez rebounded from his recent loss to Allan Nascimento and emerged victorious, elevating his UFC record to 2-1. Following a strong start to his MMA career with a 7-1 record, Hernandez made his UFC debut in February 2022 after impressing on the Contender Series. He faced Victor Altamirano at UFC FN 202 and secured a split decision win.
Continuing his momentum, the flyweight competitor participated in his second UFC bout in January 2023 against Nascimento. Unfortunately, Hernandez experienced a submission loss RNC in the opening round.
Nevertheless, Carlos Hernandez has now impressed with this finish regardless of the controversy.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.