Joe Rogan implores UFC ref to pause fight after Shavkat Rakhmonov loses mouthpiece: ‘That’s so crazy’
Joe Rogan was in the call for UFC 285 on Saturday as Jon Jones defeated Ciryl Gane to win the heavyweight title on his return to the Octagon in more than three years.
Before the night made its way into the big main event, Rogan had a helping hand to make sure Shavkat Rakhmonov was safe during his fight against Geoff Neal. In the first round, Rogan warned referee Herb Dean about Rakhmonov’s mouthpiece falling out during the fight with over a minute left.
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Dean paused the fight to make sure Rakhmonov found his mouthpiece and then the fight would continue. Daniel Cormier said on the air that Rakhmonov didn’t seem to have “care” about finding the device to keep his mouth safe and continued to fight.
Dean checked Rakhmonov’s mouth, then found the mouthpiece on the floor of the Octagon.
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“He didn’t know,” Rogan said. “If I hadn’t told him, he wouldn’t have known. That’s so crazy.”
Rakmonov defeated Neal via submission in the third round to go undefeated with a 17–0 record. Neal dropped to 15-5. Their fight was initially scheduled to take place at UFC Fight Night in January, but Neal pulled out due to injury.
Their welterweight bout was then moved to March. However, Neal went four pounds over the limit in the weigh-in and the fight went on as a catchweight.
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Rakmonov has been fighting in UFC since 2020. He presented Alex Oliveira at UFC 254. Neal was in Dana White’s Contender Series 3 in 2017 and defeated Chase Waldon via TKO. He then defeated Brian Camozzi via submission at UFC Fight Night in 2018.