UFC referee Keith Peterson May 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; UFC referee Keith Peterson during UFC Fight Night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s bantamweight fight between Ronnie Lawrence and Dan Argueta on UFC on ESPN 47 ended in controversy after an extremely costly mistake by referee Keith Peterson ended the fight prematurely.

Argueta had early success with his wrestling, taking Lawrence down early in the first round. He then proceeded to find a submission that had Lawrence in a ton of trouble.

Lawrence tried his best to fight off the submission, but he was very close to tapping to the choke. As he put his hand out to potentially tap, Peterson checked Lawrence’s arm and prematurely called the fight despite Lawrence not actually tapping.

Lawrence protested the stoppage by Peterson right away, saying that he didn’t tap, a claim backed up by the replay of the incident.

Once the fight is stopped, it can not be restarted, which means that the fight was unfortunately ruled a no-contest despite Argueta nearly getting the victory.

Many around the sports world took notice of this error by Peterson and blasted him on social media for such a critical error.


It’s obviously unclear if Lawrence would have eventually gotten out of the choke, but it certainly looked like Argueta was on his way to a first-round submission victory.

Argueta discussed the moment after the fight, where he voiced his frustrations about potentially losing out on the victory.

“It’s really unfortunate, that was quite a few months of work,” Argueta told MMA Junkie on the controversial ending. “I want to run it back, I think it’s the same outcome.”

While others were not too happy with Keith Peterson, Argueta actually understood that MMA referees do have an incredibly hard job, and understood his mistake.

“Keith (Peterson) has a hard job, I get it. I’m not even going to **** on him.”

[ESPN MMA on Twitter]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.