Josh Barnett beat Frank Mir via first-round knockout at UFC 164 on Saturday in Milwaukee in his first fight back with the UFC since 2002.
Barnett had Mir pinned against the cage and was landing several punches. He then dropped Mir with a knee to the face, and the referee came over to stop the fight at 1:56 into the first round.
Most people thought the stoppage came too early, including UFC boss Dana White, who tweeted this note in protest of the decision:
White is known for tweeting his honest thoughts on UFC fights, even if it’s to rip people working for his company. But he might still have some hard feelings towards Barnett that go back to 2002, when Barnett was stripped of the UFC heavyweight title after testing positive for a banned substance following his win over Randy Couture at UFC 36.
Still, anyone who saw the Alistair Overeem-Travis Browne fight two weeks ago knows how quickly things can change in MMA. Browne was being beaten worse than Mir, yet their fight was allowed to continue, and Browne rallied for the win.
Barnett even admitted the fight was stopped too early.
“I actually do feel that it was an early stoppage. I would always prefer to get the clean finish,” Barnett said after the fight, per MMA Fighting.
Here’s another look at the finish: