Dominick Cruz was upset with referee Keith Peterson for what he believed was a premature TKO stoppage in his co-main event loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC 249 on Saturday night, and vented about it in his media interviews backstage.
“That was an early stoppage, 100 per cent – I’m positive of it,” Cruz told ESPN. “I wish there was a way to keep these refs a little more responsible sometimes. The guy smelled like alcohol and cigarettes, so who knows what he was doing. Definitely (he did). I wish they drug tested them.
“I immediately when I saw that ref I was like, ‘Man, is there a way to veto a ref and get a new one?’ I wonder that.”
Cruz had been floored by a Cejudo knee late in the second round of the fight and was then caught with repeated blows to the head as he struggled to get back to his feet, before Peterson called an end to the bout just two seconds before the bell.
However, Peterson hasn’t stayed quiet regarding Cruz’s post-fight accusations, and instead has fired back at the former bantamweight champion on Twitter.
“@DominickCruz I thought by stopping the fight I stopped you from getting CTE but I guess not,” Peterson retaliated.
Peterson then doubled down by also posting a meme poking fun at Cruz’s comments, stating, “Me in the morning after a night of drinking and smoking,” alongside a picture of the fighter in a daze on the mat after his TKO loss.