UFC Vegas: Billy Quarantillo Addresses the Moment Spike Carlyle Turned His Back On Him

In a wild catchweight bout that many saw as Fight of the Night, Billy Quarantillo picked up his second win inside the octagon at UFC Vegas.

Opponent Spike Carlyle came storming out of the gate, hurting Quarantillo early. Proving slow and steady (well, not slow, let’s say measured) wins the race, Quarantillo weathered the storm, and wound up capturing rounds two and three for the unanimous decision win.

There was one point in the fight, however, that had just about everyone talking. In the dying seconds of round one, Carlyle stood up, turned his back on Quarantillo, and walked away. Before the bell had sounded.

Protect yourself at all times. Quarantillo, seeing an opening, charged in and landed a heavy — but legal — blow on the unsuspecting Carlyle, while the ref yelled at “The Alpha Ginger” to keep fighting.

Whether Carlyle was cocky, or just lost track of time, is the question. Quarantillo told Cageside Press during the UFC Vegas virtual post-fight scrum that it’s something he’d seen from his opponent before, however.

“He’s done in other fights, where he turns his back and there was like a big spinning back fist. We were getting ready for that,” Quarantillo explained. “But if I hear one person tell me I’m a dirty fighter. I’m gonna lose it because there, it was him doing a weird-ass thing. I wasn’t trying to be dirty.”

“[Carlyle] stood up and the ref goes ‘keep fighting, keep fighting,'” Quarantillo recalled. “He had plenty of opportunity to stay in there. He could have stayed on top and you know, defend yourself at all times, man. He shouldn’t have done that. If he would have turned his back and landed a spinning back fist and knocked me out, people wouldn’t even have thought twice about it. So it’s a fight man, and there was no crowd noise. So there’s really no reason for him to do that. Whatever.”

For his part, Quarantillo doesn’t feel too bad about taking advantage of the situation. And to be clear, his actions were very legal. Fighters are expected to protect themselves at all times throughout the round.

“You’ll never see me doing something like that. From bell to bell I’m looking at my opponent, I’m not turning my back unless I’m throwing some spinning stuff,” Quarantillo said. “I don’t feel bad about it, especially since his last fight [against Aalon Cruz], he landed some elbows to the back of the head. All is fair in this game. And I got the win. So it’s on to the next one.”