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UFC 267: Referee Vyacheslav Kiselev is eliminated after Elizeu Dos Santos and Benoit Saint-Denis fight

Referee Vyacheslav Kiselev was withdrawn from UFC 267 following his inaction during Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos’ unanimous decision over Benoit Saint-Denis on Saturday.

In a rare move, the UFC removed Kiselev from the event after he came under scrutiny for refusing to stop the welterweight fight.

Saint-Denis, a newcomer to the promotion, was clearly out of reach and suffered a brutal beating at the hands of Dos Santos.

Dos Santos hit Saint-Denis with several right hands before landing a long series of punches and unanswered knees. The Brazilian registered 149 significant blows to 67, including 96 major blows to the head of Saint-Denis.

Referee Vyacheslav Kiselev was withdrawn from UFC 267 following the unanimous decision by Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos (right) over Benoit Saint-Denis (left)

Referee Vyacheslav Kiselev was withdrawn from UFC 267 following the unanimous decision by Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos (right) over Benoit Saint-Denis (left)

The Frenchman retreated to the fence and took cover but the referee refused to stop the fight.

The Frenchman retreated to the fence and took cover but the referee refused to stop the fight.

The Frenchman retreated to the fence and took cover but the referee refused to stop the fight.

The newcomer exhibited resistance but, at one point, he retreated to the fence and did nothing but cover, prompting calls from UFC commentators and even fans present to stop the fight in the second round.

But the referee refused to intervene and Saint-Denis managed to keep fighting and reached the end of the fight.

Dos Santos comfortably won the fight 29-26 on the scorecards of all three judges, but many were surprised that Kiselev had allowed the fight to go this far.

The Brazilian comfortably won the fight 29-26 on the scorecards of all three judges.

The Brazilian comfortably won the fight 29-26 on the scorecards of all three judges.

The Brazilian comfortably won the fight 29-26 on the scorecards of all three judges.

Saint-Denis made it to the end of the fight, but the fans called for the fight to be interrupted

Saint-Denis made it to the end of the fight, but the fans called for the fight to be interrupted

Saint-Denis made it to the end of the fight, but the fans called for the fight to be interrupted

Kiselev was scheduled to oversee a light heavyweight fight between Volkan Oezdemir and Magomed Ankalaev later that night, but the former light heavyweight fighter was removed and replaced by veteran referee Marc Goddard.

At one point, commentators Daniel Cormier and Paul Felder were heard yelling on the broadcast for the fight to stop.

“Stop the fight,” they yelled.

“I don’t know what you need to see … this is crazy,” Cormier added.

After the fight, Cormier took to social media to criticize Kiselev’s craft.

“Honestly, the worst performance I have ever seen from a referee in my life,” he wrote.

Honestly, hard work, but unreal man. It makes you respect the good guys like Jason Herzog, John McCarthy Herb Dean, and many more.

“I hated to see that I hope Benoit is heading to the hospital right now.”

Commentator Daniel Cormier yelled for the fight to stop before tweeting his reaction.

Commentator Daniel Cormier yelled for the fight to stop before tweeting his reaction.

Commentator Daniel Cormier yelled for the fight to stop before tweeting his reaction.

Dos Santos himself admitted that the fight should have been stopped and said he felt sorry for the Frenchman as the referee’s incompetence resulted in more injuries than he should have had.

‘It was pretty clear that the referee should have stopped him,’ said the Brazilian welterweight, via Fox sports.

‘He ended up making the fight a lot harder than it should have been.

“ I feel sorry for the guy because he ended up hurting a lot more than he should, and also for me, because when you hit someone, you also hurt yourself.

Dos Santos admitted that the fight should have stopped and said he 'felt sorry'

Dos Santos admitted that the fight should have stopped and said he 'felt sorry'

Dos Santos admitted that the fight should have stopped and said he ‘felt sorry’

“We didn’t know that they had taken it down, but we talked about it with the doctors and medical staff, that they didn’t do their job, that they were putting people in danger.”

On Twitter, fighters, officials and fans questioned Kiselev’s competence, including veteran referee John McCarthy, who criticized the referee’s job as “ the worst job of refereeing at a UFC event, ” before pleading with the UFC to never again allow him to supervise another fight.

Michael Chiesa agreed that Kiselev was doing a terrible job when he wrote: ‘The most important role of an MMA referee is to protect the fighters. This referee is doing a terrible job of this, in more ways than one. ”

Wrestlers, officials and fans questioned Kiselev's competition, including Michael Chiesa.

Wrestlers, officials and fans questioned Kiselev's competition, including Michael Chiesa.

Wrestlers, officials and fans questioned Kiselev’s competition, including Michael Chiesa.

Meanwhile, welterweight pro Randy Brown criticized not only the referee but also the negative stigma surrounding concession in the UFC.

“On top of this, this referee is trash as hell,” he posted. ‘When are we going to have the conversation about the negative stigma MMA has about throwing in the towel?

‘I say live to fight another day. This man’s coaches don’t care about his life. ‘

Former Shooto middleweight champion Siyar Bahadurzada criticized Kiselev as a “danger to athletes” and called for the referee to be barred from officiating again.

Siyar Bahadurzada took to Twitter and criticized Kiselev as a 'danger to athletes'

Siyar Bahadurzada took to Twitter and criticized Kiselev as a 'danger to athletes'

Siyar Bahadurzada took to Twitter and criticized Kiselev as a ‘danger to athletes’

Others used Twitter to express their anger and disbelief at the referee.

Alijamain Sterling questioned what the referee needed to see to cancel the fight.

Meanwhile, Kenny Florian criticized Kiselev, stating that the best referees don’t give you anything to talk about.

Others expressed their anger and dismay at Kiselev's incompetence on social media.

Others expressed their anger and dismay at Kiselev's incompetence on social media.

Others expressed their anger and dismay at Kiselev’s incompetence on social media.

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