Gavin Tucker defends referee in statement after bloody UFC 215 loss

Gavin Tucker, bottom, lost a unanimous decision to Rick Glenn at UFC 215 in Edmonton. (Jason Franson/CP)

Canadian featherweight Gavin Tucker absorbed nearly 200 strikes and suffered multiple facial fractures in his loss to Rick Glenn Saturday in Edmonton at UFC 215. Despite witnessing the one-sided beat-down, referee Kyle Cardinal never stopped the fight.

Tucker was dropped by a Glenn punch in what was an otherwise competitive opening round before Glenn began dominating. Both fighters landed 26 strikes in the first round but Tucker was outstruck 49-10 in the second stanza and 109-7 in the third.

The judges’ scorecards read 30-25, 30-24 and 29-27 in favour of Glenn although many onlookers, including UFC president Dana White, thought the fight should’ve been stopped long before the final horn sounded.

“He was taking some unnecessary damage, I thought,” Glenn told UFC commentator Joe Rogan in the cage following the victory. “It’s too bad. We’re in the hurting business, but I don’t want to see anyone getting hurt unnecessarily. It definitely should have been stopped.”

One person who doesn’t think the referee made a mistake is Tucker.

“I’ll keep it short and sweet. I lost on Saturday. Stop blaming the ref for a bad call,” Tucker wrote in a statement he released on his Facebook page Monday. “That man let me go out on my shield. He visited while I was in the hospital and apologized. Was him and I in that cage. I didn’t stop fighting. He saw that. He should sleep easy.”

Tucker, a 31-year-old from Newfoundland and Labrador, was unbeaten in his professional mixed martial arts career prior to UFC 215.

According to Tucker, he has two fractures on his jaw plus two orbital bone fractures but says the pain of losing hurts more than the physical damage he took.

“Throughout the day I wiped a lot of blood off my cheek and I can’t say for sure there weren’t some tears in there,” Tucker added. “I fought with blurred vision and three different Rick Glenns kicked the [expletive] out of me for the last two rounds. (I tried to hit the one in the middle) Congrats to my opponent. I hope you go far because I plan on seeing you again.

“I fought my heart out. I’m a rare breed of straight savage and I don’t need social media to tell me that. However…I am appreciative of all the support I received on here. Which is why I’m writing this. I have no excuses and won’t stand for anyone making them for me. That’s not how the north folk get it done…Tucker 2.0 is on the way.”