UFC Vegas 75: Carlos Hernandez Reacts to Illegal Knee, Controversial Finish to Bondar Fight

Las Vegas, NV — Flyweight Carlos Hernandez got the win, but not the finish, at UFC Vegas 75 on Saturday.

In a fight that could best be described as chaotic, it appeared Hernandez (9-2) had secured a knockout after landing a slam takedown on opponent Denys Bondar in the dying seconds of the fight.

After being illegally kneed earlier in the bout, it might have been poetic justice — but the ref then called for video review, which ruled an accidental clash of heads had knocked Bondar out.

Luckily, being the fight was already in the third round, the judges scorecards were in play. Hernandez got the unanimous decision win, but was robbed of his first UFC finish.

“They took my finish away from me, but whatever. In my eyes it was a finish, but whatever, if I got my hand raised at the end of the day, I guess that’s all that matters,” Hernandez told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight.

It’s not necessarily as simple as that, however, as Hernandez later pointed out that “If they paid 50Gs for a finish, then it matters a lot to me. Plus just kind of, not having a finish in a while, and having my first UFC finish, it’s kind of like a milestone to reach. So it’s kind of bittersweet I guess, but whatever, like I said at the end of the day all that matters is getting your hand raised, so we’re able to do that.”

As for the illegal knee by Bondar, which happened when Hernandez had both knees down, “I thought it was straight intentional. It was clear as day that I was down. I thought he was going to try and go front head or something, and then he threw it,” Hernandez stated. “And I kind of saw it coming, I tried to pull away. When he hit me with it, you look at the film, my eyes never left his eyes. In my head I was like ‘okay, I’m going to take my break you asshole.'”

“That looked pretty f*cking intentional to me. I don’t know why the ref didn’t take a point off the bat. Like I said it looked damn intentional to me. It is what it is, we were able to recover and come out, push hard that third round.”

The takedown in the finishing sequence “was a throw I’ve hit multiple times in practice,” Hernandez added. “Obviously I don’t drop my partners on their head. It was kind of like a surprise when I slammed him, he kind of got up, so I elbowed, elbowed again. By the fourth elbow, I could tell he was out, but in my head, I heard the clicker, the ref wasn’t jumping in so I think he ate four or five more unnecessary ones. But that’s on the ref, not me, I just go until they tell me to stop.”

Though a clash of heads was ruled to have put Bondar out, Hernandez disagrees. “I don’t think there was a headbutt at all. I just think it was a straight, from what I was able to see to in the film, it looked like a straight, feet to back takedown. Like I said I’ve hit that takedown multiple times in the training room. I don’t even think that put him out, I think the elbows put him out. We slammed him and I landed two elbows, he looked out and I kept elbowing and elbowing away until they pulled me off. So I don’t even think it was that.”

Hernandez at least got his win bonus on Saturday, despite admitting he was a little nervous while the scores were read out. But he’ll have to secure that first UFC finish another day.

Watch the full UFC Vegas 75 post-fight press conference appearance by Carlos Hernandez above.